Sunday, January 6, 2019

Where One Ends and the Other Begins

Saturday evening, I officiated Brittany and Joe’s wedding ceremony, at the Westin Stonebriar Hotel and Golf Club, in Frisco, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

One thing that fascinated me about this young couple is that they reminded me of something that I read about an old couple, a couple that has been married for more than 70 years, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter.

Friends of the Carters say their bond is so strong that it's, "difficult to know where one ends and the other begins." I got that feeling from spending time with Brittany and Joe, too. It was palpable in how they spoke of each other, looked at each other, acted together, and even in how they cared for their dog together. Not to be too cliché about it, they seemed perfect for each other.

Listen to how Brittany speaks of Joe, “He is my knight in shining armor, the hero of my fairy tales, the dragon tamer, the dog whisperer, and the man of my heart, my best friend. We elevate each other… He is kind… He chooses to be a positive, giving force…”

There is a second reason this couple reminded me of the Carters. Here is what Jimmy told Oprah Winfrey a few years ago, “We decided fairly early in our life to give each other plenty of space. Rosalynn has her own ideas, her own ambitions, her own goals in life, which, in some ways, are different from mine. I let her do her thing; she lets me do my thing.” Joe, too, says that there was no one he dated, with whom he liked spending time like he did with Brittany, and one of the things that most attracted him to her was her self-sufficiency.

Now, that would seem to contradict what the Carters’ friends say. Which is it: Are they one, or do they do their own thing?

When you consider these two aspects of a relationship just a little more deeply, you see that there really is no contradiction. In fact, the healthiest love is the love of two persons, who are fully developed as their own selves, each self-sufficient, each with their own goals, that they are able to give of themselves to that relationship, loving each other so deeply, that it is hard to know where one ends and the other one starts.

It’s not all that common, for sure, however, when you find that in another person, you don’t want to let go. Joe recognizes this. He says that, “To find all of these traits in the same person was unprecedented (to me), and after a few months I knew that I did not want to stop dating this person, ever.”

Not only that, when you find this type of person with whom you can share a love that straddles these two aspects of an ideal relationship, you know that you are in for a life of learning. As Brittany says, “Marriage is one more way Joe and I can grow together.” That is why she says, There is no one else I would rather be celebrating life’s challenges and joys with than Joe, my almost husband.”

With that said, let’s not wait one more moment, before we remove that “almost” modifier…