Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Conquers All - Advice Letter To My 25-Year-Old Self

In the following advice letter to my younger self, I discuss love and marriage...both of which are a perfect fit for Kristen's Sealed with a Kiss (S.W.A.K.) Valentines Carnival. Links for the fun will follow this post.

Dear 25-Year-Old Me,



In August of the year Prince sung about with apocalyptic flair, you will step into an elegantly simple white gown, hold a bouquet of fresh pink roses, and walk into a garden as a glowing bride. Your wedding ceremony will be lovely, and the awe dancing in your man's eyes when he calls you his wife, will render you breathless.


Marrying The Professor (you'll call him that in a few years), is your most brilliant decision to date. In fact, I don't see how it can be matched...but the marrying part...that was easy. Being a wife, a wife of godly character, is a process consisting of choosing daily to love your husband.


I know that you have heard the cliché “love conquers all.” It's true. Oh, not in the Hollywood summer blockbuster sense. Romance alone, while an important marital spice, will not enable you to withstand the storms and fires about to come your way. When I write that love can conquer all, I am referring to the kind of love that is not limited by perception, personal desires, or tangible flaws. I'm referring to agape love...God's love. The very same love that conquered the cross on Calvary, is the only type of love capable of clobbering attacks that routinely assault marriages.


Two weeks after you and your new husband return from Jamaica, you'll move to a college town. He will pursue his Ph.D., and you will look for a job in a tough market. And that honeymoon period that is suppose to last for six months...well...it's going to end soon after those boxes are unpacked. And when it does, I need you to remember those eminent verses from I Corinthians. You know the ones I am writing about, because they are often recited at weddings...but how often are they lived?


Angela...You. Need. To. Live. Them. Even when you're exhausted. Even when you're sick. Even when you're hurt. Even when you're angry. Even when you're lonely. Even when you fall into the toilet at 2:00 a.m. because he forgot to put down the seat. You see, when you exchanged promises and rings with the love of your life, you signed up for "better and for worse, as long as you both shall live." And sometimes, there is a whole heap of worse before you see more of the better. But if you hold on to Christ, and love as He commands, your marriage will be draped with grace and beauty.


So remember...


Love is patient. Earning his Ph.D. will take more than seven years (I know, sweetie, I know), encourage him every step of the way.


Love is kind. Don't allow your fears and feelings of inadequacy swindle you into thinking that it is acceptable to lash out at your husband.


Love does not envy. It does not matter how many of your friends moved into new houses with fancy furniture after their weddings. Don't waste a moment fretting about what you want and what you do not have. Instead, look at that man who pledged his life to you, and thank God for the priceless gift of unconditional love.


Love does not boast. And love it is not proud. Love your husband, but don't try to out love him, and when you make a mistake, admit it, apologize for it, accept forgiveness, and let it go.


Love is not rude. And love is not self-seeking. Respect your husband and appreciate the man God created. And as you implement ideas to honor him and make him feel special, do not do so in the hopes of winning something from him in return.


Love is not easily angered. And love keeps no record of wrongs. Your first apartment together will measure less than 700 square feet. Believe it or not, you'll live in smaller. Money will be tight, and it gets even tighter. You and your husband won't always agree. There will be plenty opportunity for anger to sneak in. Don't allow it to get the upper hand. Ever. And when your husband makes a mistake, accept his apology and bury the mistake in a pit as deep as the one in which you would want your mistakes to reside.


Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.


In other words, love can conquer all.


(Bold parts were taken from I Corinthians 13:4-8a, New International Version)


Kristen from We Are That Family is hosting a fabulous carnival this week to celebrate love and she's giving a way many fantastic prizes. Please check her out and share your story.






46 comments:

Denise said...

Thanks for touching my heart with these letters. My first letter is up on my blog sweetie.

Liz said...

This was a wonderful letter. It has touched me in more ways than you can imagine.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Fantastic advice for any new bride, needed advice for any new bride!

Nicole said...

So well said...beautiful! Not always easy to do, but how often we need to be reminded of that verse.

littletoesandcheerios said...

Very well said and wonderful advice we should all live by. It's not always easy but with God's love we can do it.

Kelly said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

I had just read your post when I found you had commented on mine! I love the part about falling into the toilet...I have done that and boy it stinks! But you are right. Love sets the standard and open toilets have nothin' on love. Great post.

Muthering Heights said...

What a beautiful letter! I hope you will share this post with him - I'm sure he will find it so touching!

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

If only we knew then, what we know now (or are still learning). It sounds like you have a beautiful marriage.

Comfort Joy Designs said...

Amen, Sister!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

So honest and beautiful!

Hadley Coble said...

WOW! That is so beautiful. And so relevant to each marriage. One thing that struck me is the not being jealous when our friends get married and move into bigger, nicer, houses with new, nicer furniture. That was a struggle for me in the beginning of our marriage, but there's always a balance somewhere. When I look back now, I can't imagine that I could be more blessed. Though we've had our struggles, we have two beautful girls now who I'm able to stay home with, and we are living debt free. There is no mansion or furniture that can top that blessing and security. I am so grateful for the living my husband provides for us!

I see from your profile that we're neighbors...same state atleast! I can't wait to read more of your blog...thanks for stopping by mine!

Leah said...

I have really enjoyed reading these letters. This one especially hit me. I want to print it as a reminder of how to live out love on a daily basis.

Nise' said...

Beautifully done. I have a letter written to give to my daughter (age 24) when she gets married.

Upstatemomof3 said...

That was so beautiful! We used that verse in our wedding (and we have had teh opportunity to live it). Just yesterday I wrote about how important it is to keep the love in your marriage. You said it better than I did though. Really such a heart warming post. I know need to go and thank God (again) for the wonderful man that is my husband.

FromThe Creek said...

I really enjoyed reading your letter!

espressoshots said...

What a neat site! I'm glad you took the time to comment on mine. Looking forward to getting to know you through your blog.

Warm regards,

Andrea

graceunbound said...

Beautiful, and so very, very true.

Debra said...

This is so beautiful! It touched my heart!

Blessings to you today!

Tawny and Kya said...

What an amazing reminder! How easily we forget this scripture and the vows we made. I think I will refer back to this from time to time.
I loved how you made it so applicable!
May you and the Professor have a very blessed Valentine's Day!!!!

Jenn said...

This was a beautiful letter!

Gretchen said...

Are you sure this wasn't written to MY 39year and 11 month old self? Positive?

Gob-smacked. Again. Actually, as I was writing gob-smacked, I accidentally typed "god-smacked". Yeah, I think so. In a non abusive way, of course. xxxooo

lisasmith said...

Thanks I needed to hear that today. Happy Day O Love! Enjoy the professor.

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, my goodness, I so wish I'd had this letter to read when I was first married!!

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

Glad I stopped by your blog. This was a great letter. I've enjoyed reading all the letters that people wrote to themselves!

Rachel said...

Angela, once again I am amazed at your wisdom, of how to encourage your younger self to really "live" 1 Cor 13. Every new bride should have to seriously ponder this, not just wait for them to be read at her ceremony so she can kiss her man. :)

We are THAT Family said...

This was beautiful! What a lovely LOVE story! Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tales From the Eurovan said...

Angela,
I have enjoyed reading all your letters. This one is no exception and is just beautiful. Love your honesty and your wisdom.
Take care friend,
Julie

Mrs. Sidney said...

What an amazing letter, I needed that a few years ago, too.

Thank you for sharing.

MyLinda said...

Don't we all wish that we could have that wisdom and forewarning when we start out?!! But in reality it's the journey that makes the person. Beautiful post!

LifeAtTheCircus.com said...

This was truly beautiful! Thanks for sharing! You could publish this.

Natalie said...

what a great post!!!! very clever. i might have to do that letter in a few years. i'm thinking some days i wish i still lived in 700 sq ft because it took no time to clean! agh. thanks for sharing your story.

Heather said...

What an insightful letter to any new bride.

Vixbil said...

Beautiful letter and imagine if we had one of those to look at whenever we felt lost
xx

mommy4life said...

Amazing Post!!

Lora said...

I love this. What a wonderful idea!
I need to take some of this advice for myself :) I'm not married yet, but it's been understood from the beginning that we're moving that way if it's in God's plan for us...

Shoofly Mama said...

Carl and I wrote letters to each other when we got married. Who knew what the next 10 years would bring....

Andrea said...

Beautiful.

Tiffany said...

Uplifting and encouraging. What a beautiful bride -- then and now.

missy said...

so nice to "meet you". this was so beautiful! thank you.

sister sheri said...

This has been quite an inspiring series. Thanks, Angela. And I would comment even without the contest!

Jessica said...

Thanks for this! I am so convicted. Love is hard and at times it's easier to stop trying. Thanks for the reminder today.

Jessica said...

Thanks for this! I am so convicted. Love is hard and at times it's easier to stop trying. Thanks for the reminder today.

Mary Moss said...

This is just incredible advice! I would love to copy this and save it for frequent reference (Yes, I'm 52, married 32 years, but I can sure use this advice just as much today as when I was 25:-)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I am a bit late in visiting via the SWAK carnival, but what a great story!

Classic MaMa said...

That was beautiful. I often wish I could give myself advice. I wonder what 40 year old me would tell 30 year old me?

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