May 22

Marriage Study :: Mirrors

When was the last time you sat and analyzed your naked self in front of a mirror?  I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, this is something that I’d rather not do.  I have no interest in staring at my flabby belly, seeing the cellulite on my thighs or analyzing my less than toned arms.  I would much rather suck in my gut, zip up my pants and move on with my day – completely covered and pretending that those parts of me don’t exist.  In fact, back when I worked in a salon (I’m also a licensed cosmetologist, even though I no longer practice), one of the most challenging parts of working in that setting was the fact that I was always in front of a mirror.  Even if I wasn’t staring at myself, odds were, I was in someone else’s view and it drove me crazy.  I was bothered by my facial expressions (that I had no idea were so awkward), my hair going flat (I was constantly fluffing and adjusting) and by the end of the day I had seen my reflection so many times that I also hated my outfit and my appearance in general.  The reflection always showed me as the mess that I was.  There was no disguising it.

I’ve mentioned Gary Thomas’ book before that I’m currently reading, Sacred Marriage, and at one point he makes the comparison that your spouse is like a full length mirror standing in front of you exposing each and every one of your failings.  This is a huge truth bomb.  It’s such a good visual image.  If you’re not ready to deal with all of your imperfections, then don’t get married.  Because all your flaws will be on display and odds are at some point, your husband/wife will point them out to you.

Row boat engagment session

Photography: Samantha James Photography

This idea never crossed my mind before marriage.  I was so wrapped up in the love and excitement of the engagement that I never considered what it would be like for someone else to see every part of me, the good and the bad, in both a physical and emotional sense.  Secrets should no longer exist between man and wife.  I never thought about what was happening behind the closed doors of a marriage, besides the cliche 😉

The hope however, is that through this you become a better person.  By humbling yourself and allowing someone else to help you with those less than perfect pieces, you can experience true intimacy and teamwork, while also experiencing growth.  There are admirable traits that will carry over into other aspects of your life as well – openess, honesty, patience, forgiveness, loyality, respect and the list could go endlessly on.  Getting married can show off the best or the worst parts of a person, which one is up to you.

Catch up on the other posts in the series.  Read the intro here, 5 Stages of Love here and Why Marriage? here.


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