Monday, November 24, 2014

Comparisons Part 3: When Your Life Sequence Doesn't Match Societies Expectations.

If you haven't read Part 1 and 2 of the Comparisons Series check them out here:

It happens every time I see the exciting news on Facebook, photos plastered all over my new feed of the brand new Husband and Wife on their wedding day. The groom handsomely donning his tuxedo and looking with tears in his as his gorgeous bride walks toward him in her perfect wedding dress. Professional photos capturing all of the love and romance that surrounds. 

I look at all of these photos and instead of being overwhelmed with joy for the happy couple, I get twinges of envy, jealousy - things not of the Lord in my heart. 

Don't get me wrong I am so happy for these newlyweds but I never had that moment. I never had the wedding with the perfect dress, though I have it, surrounded by those we love most, telling the whole wide world that we commit our lives to each other. I don't have beautiful wedding photos to hang on the wall or memories of dancing blissfully, joy and love flowing on our wedding day. 

Instead of jumping for joy,
 I compare what I didn't have with what they were able to have, which only hurts myself. 

To be honest here, I do believe that the world has set expectations for couples as to how a wedding, and the events that surround is supposed to be. 

Societies Sequence of Wedding Events: 
1. The guy is supposed to buy the most expensive engagement ring.
2. Plan the most elaborate proposal. 
4. Spend 6 months to 2 years planning the wedding. 
5. Get married and have a reception in the most picturesque setting. 
6. Drive off into the night as husband and wife on their way to their 7 day vacation honeymoon. 

Am I wrong? Do you feel like these are the unspoken expectations laid on young couples of today? 

There is a specific order to things and if you don't follow that order the comparison trap is an inevitable possibility. 

At least it has been for me. 

I would have loved those memories, but if I push passed all of the superficial things, the wedding and events, whats left is the most important thing of all - the Marriage. 

Though we didn't have the fairy tale wedding, we did make the most meaningful and important commitment of our lives and I don't regret that for a moment. And if I had to choose an amazing wedding or marrying my amazing husband - I would do the exact same thing and marry my best friend - committing myself to him for the rest of my life. 

Because at the end of it all the wedding day is just one day, but the marriage is the rest of your life. [Click to Tweet] God doesn't care about the glitz and the glam of a wedding and if you didn't have that on your wedding day thats ok because the only thing that matters is making the most important commitment to your husband and to God. 

I was listening to a Joyce Myers Sermon this week and she said something that really struck me: 

"If you pray about it God is big enough to make it happen."

If it was in Gods plan for a big wedding, it would have happened because he is big enough to make it happen. If it didn't happen than it wasn't a part of the plan at the moment. (Because I personally would still love a wedding, so I am not giving up hope!) 

I may not have had the dream wedding, and maybe some day I will, but I will not allow my comparisons to kill my joy in myself and in my marriage. 

The overal message of the past few comparisons posts 
is that comparison kills our joy and instead of comparing we should look to God and be ever grateful for everything that He has blessed us with. 

Your Turn! 
Have you done things differently than what society says? What has God blessed you with? 


  1. I have felt some of those pressures as well. I wasn't a size 2 or even 8 and don't love the way I looked in our pictures. We had a nice ceremony, but we didn't have the TV version reception either. It was nice and you know what - everybody probably remembers how happy we were, and if anyone only focuses on that we made our own food and decorations, they missed the important parts. It's funny, but our table decorations actually said, "A Wedding is just a day, but a marriage is a lifetime of . . . " and each table had different things like Love, Laughter, Respect, Fun, Friendship, Forgiveness. Keep focusing on the right stuff, sister!

    1. Thank you for being so open! You really knew the importance of the day, that is so wonderful! You are right, its all about focusing on the right things! :)

  2. Social media has definitely ramped up the "comparison" game. It's easy to wish we were living the lives of others, but instead we should focus on living our own lives to the fullest.

  3. I can relate to this post. My husband and I never did what we were "suppose" to do. I didn't have the big white wedding or engagement. We don't even wear wedding rings and we 2 different religions yet we extremely happy and we love it this way.

  4. Our wedding was completely different and we stood away from what people expected. Our wedding reflected who we were and become. My engagement ring was not even an engagement ring according to others but it was to me and it had more meaning than anything else. I think blocking what society expectations and focusing on what you want and are is important. Is not about pleasing others is about pleasing you and your spouse. Great post I enjoyed it very much.

  5. You are so right, Tara, and not only about the wedding expectations, but about expectations for what is "supposed" to happen once you're married. I have many times fallen into the trap of wishing that my husband and I had already completed the some of the young married couple milestones, as many of our friends have (e.g.., having children, buying your first home). But each person's path is their own. It's much better to live according to God's timing and expectations rather than trying to strive for things to happen in our lives that are not a part of His plan :) I really appreciated reading this post :)

  6. Expectations are hard...we chose to go to the court house and get married with no one there. Best decision for us.

  7. It's so true that comparisons can seriously pull us down! It's such a shame! And as far as weddings go, even having a beautiful huge wedding doesn't save you from comparison envy! It's such a shame :-\ Hope you get your wedding! ;-)

  8. I think social media makes it harder for those who don't follow the "traditional" path of how things should go, but we all do things in our own way and on our own time :)

  9. There are definitely some societal pressures. But one thing wedding planning has taught me is that you don't HAVE to do anything. There are so many couples who buck tradition and have lovely weddings and lovely marriages.

  10. My fiance proposed via text message. The wedding we're planning will be small and budget-friendly. We already have two kids together. But we love each other, so we aren't worried about societal norms :)

  11. I'm a professional event planner so I knew ALL about expectations when we were planning our wedding a few years ago. I wanted it to be perfect but I also forced myself to step back and realize that it's just a day, and our marriage is the important part. Even now, being married 3+ years I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, "Oh I wish we had done this or that" but honestly, my wedding was perfect because our friends and family had a great time and I married the man I love. I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

  12. I don't think it really matters the size of a wedding or how much it costs. At the end of the day you're with the person that you're going to spend the rest of your life with. The wedding is only one day, so it's not a big deal. In my opinion. Definitely don't compare yourself to others either!

  13. Choosing to be single despite people pressuring you to get married or at least date. I am so much happier now than when I have to go with the flow. I am more at peace and blessed to see that I've got friends to support me. I am sure God will send me the partner He thinks is best for me. :)

  14. God has blessed me with a wonderful family and my health and too many other things to list here! #blogitforward

  15. I guess it all depends where you live:) for instance, in French part of Canada, people would date for around a year, then decide to move in together, than decide to have a baby, buy a house, have that baby, and maybe think about wedding. Or move in together, get engaged, buy a house than have a baby and then get married. Or move in together, get married, have a baby and never buy a house :). Same in Europe. But as you say, in the end it's not about the others and their expectations, but about you :).

  16. Our expectations are always so high. And, Social media gives am extra pressure when you are not following the traditional path. Comparing won't really help anyone, as you never know what the others are going through.

  17. I just told my 20 year old daughter the other day that the marriage is far more important than the wedding. Comparison is a huge thing in our society and facebook and pinterest tend to glamorize things in people's lives when really their lives are quite normal. thanks for a thoughtful post.

  18. The big event is the marriage itself not the wedding. If you are happily married to the man you love then you are blessed. Yes, I too have experienced some of those feelings you are going through but we have to keep our eyes on God and not on the things of this world. Who knows, your big wedding may very well present itself in the future. An anniversary celebration maybe?
    Be blessed!

  19. I agree. It's all about the marriage and not that day. A bunch of little things kept going wrong the day of our wedding (lost shoes, messed up music and photography, etc), and one of our friends was amazed that it didn't bother me or make me all anxious that day... but it didn't because I knew I was marrying my best friend and that was the important part. I look back at that day and don't see the mishaps or even remember the flowers or cake. Honestly, I don't even remember most of the words I said. Just that I was overwhelmed by emotion knowing God had led me down a broken road straight to my soul mate. Concentrate on how God's blessed you and how He is working His Word into your marriage. A wedding is a nice time to celebrate that, but everything else is details and will fade with time. Your relationship in Christ and with each other is what is paramount. Our pictures from that day don't show all the mishaps, but they show love. I hate that we have grown to compare everything rather than to celebrate each others joys. I hope we can learn to celebrate God's blessings together and like a wedding picture- focus on the good. Lovely post!


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