I wanted to share this graphic with you first. This passage has always been one of my favorites, and it was read at our wedding in November.
But, that’s not the main message I want to share in this post.
Take a look at this:
My friend Katie shared this infographic on Facebook recently.
What’s interesting, though, is when Katie originally shared this, the graphic had everything you see, except for the CatholicLink logo/symbol on the bottom. It makes sense, since it is a Bible verse, but still, it was an interesting observation to note.
As many of you know, I am a Christian. I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I have read the whole Bible. In the words of a Jeremy Camp song, I walk by faith.
This graphic struck me, hence why I wanted to write about it.
I wanted to break down this infographic and really dive deep.
“A man” – Maturity
I’m interpreting this as a man has matured from a boy when he decides to get married. That makes sense to me. The age of consent to get married varies by state though. Some states allow parties to marry when they’re 15 or 16!
“Leaves” – Transition
Transition is a big part of marriage, but it’s a big part of life, too. For me, I have transitioned several times. I left home for the first time in 2007, to attend college. I transitioned again in 2011, when I came back home after college graduation. In 2013, I left home again to move into my first apartment. In 2014, I moved back home, again, to save money, in anticipation of eventually buying a house. And then, in 2015, I transitioned into marriage with Al. Sometime in 2016, we will transition again – together – into our own home!
I used to believe that a person, whether man or woman, should experience at least some of these transitions before getting married.
That wasn’t the case with Al – He’s only moved once in his entire life, and he never went away to college. The biggest transition, that I think he went through, was a few years ago, when he didn’t have a job for six months. But, we’re married now (Tomorrow is our 3-month anniversary), and it’s amazing!
He’s shown me so many things through his experiences, like going to community college. It’s cheaper, and you get a great education, too!
“Father and mother” – Model of a complete family
This part, I disagree with. I get that this comes from the Bible – One of the oldest books, ever.
But, in today’s world, a “complete family” is not just a mom and dad anymore.
It can be two dads. It can be two moms. It can be grandparents, or other relatives. It can be either a mom or a dad. It can be a mom and stepdad, and vice-versa.
“Attached” – A new family
I’m not sure if “a new family” is the right/best way to interpret the word “attached.” With marriage, the idea is that you’re creating a new family, yes. And that the parties involved are creating a new chapter, together.
But the word “attached” is a bit strong, to me. I still have a strong attachment to my parents, I believe I always will. That’s mainly because I am an only child. It’s important to keep close ties with your family, unless you have solid reasons/beliefs to not to.
“His wife” – Complement
This interpretation confused me, at first, until I realized that I was thinking of the wrong word. My first thought was “compliment.”
Complement – Refers to something that completes or goes well with something.
I agree with “goes well with something.”
I don’t agree with “completes.”
The reason I say that is Al doesn’t “complete” me. I am my own person. I am Laura Beth. I wasn’t incomplete before I met Al. I was recovering from an extensive abusive relationship, and Al helped make me whole again, but he himself didn’t do that for me. He helped me heal, over time. He listened. He comforted me. He understood the journey I was on.
He wasn’t my missing piece. He’s a beautiful, wonderful addition to my life. I’m so happy that we fell in love, dated, got engaged, and are now married. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him!
“They become” – A process of learning, friendship and trust
I like this one. To make a marriage, relationship, or friendship work, you have to put in the effort to learn about each other, be friendly, and trust each other.
For Al and I, we started out as friends. I didn’t know him from Adam, so to speak. Before we exchanged phone numbers and became Facebook friends, I had said hi to him maybe twice in their house between 2009 and 2010.
When I watched Inglorious Basterds with Al and Nick the night before I went back to Longwood in August 2010, I sat between them on the couch in their backyard garage. I remember thinking to myself, “I will be content if we are friends forever.”
I trusted Al from the very beginning. I felt like I could tell him anything, and I still feel that way now, all these years later. That’s one thing that will never change.
“One flesh” – Deep intimacy between two people
I get that intimacy and sex is a big part of marriage. And that’s wonderful. I don’t and won’t judge you.
But, it isn’t everything. And I’m glad this graphic shows that. It’s a significant part, but you have to have trust, friendship, and more.
Justin, a regular reader and friend, offered his two cents about this to me in a Facebook message:
“As someone not of religion, I can tell you this Laura Beth: Marriage is a grand adventure. It’s like finding a companion in an RPG, the healer to your fighter, the Sword user to your Bow and Arrow. It’s meeting someone who will fill that empty spot in your passenger seat where groceries once was. It’s finding someone who you want to annoy, or be annoyed by, for life. Someone who you love spending time with, but also can appreciate the time you spend apart, for absence does make the heart grow fonder. It’s finding someone who you may get really angry at but you’ll still hold the umbrella under them on a rainy day, and most of all it’s finding someone who you can say is THE ONE …”
I love his analogies. It’s hard for me to say anything better than this.
I’m so glad Al and I found each other. I was reflecting on the journey I’ve been on in the car yesterday. I feel so fortunate. I am blessed. My faith has guided me through my life, even when it has wavered.
It is true – Everything happens for a reason.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂