I applaud you for choosing to marry me, because that takes a lot of courage. The thing you have to realize about me is that sometimes, I’m a little crazy. Just be very patient and I’ll come around. I always have to make amends with whoever I’m in a fight with so just be open to forgiveness. I will say I’m sorry about a million times a day and I ask that you just kindly accept my apology, because even though you may say, “stop apologizing, it’s okay,” I will still continue to apologize.
The life we have ahead of us will hopefully be filled with adventure. Not only do I hope that you will want to explore the world with me, but I hope to goodness that you are willing and open to have a huge family. This means that you must be open to having kids in the first place, but I wouldn’t be marrying you if you weren’t open to that. My family is large and because of it there is a lot of drama and chaos … and love. I don’t think that there will be any shortage of love in the house. When I love, I love intensely and fully and I expect the same from you. I would not be marrying you if you didn’t care about me, because I could never live in a house where I love too much and everyone around me doesn’t bother to show at least a little care towards me.
The way to my heart is always sentimentality. I love meaningful trips, even if it’s just to the supermarket. I love warm hugs, even if it’s just for no reason or special occasion. I love little kind gestures, like the chivalrous act of opening a door. All of these things are little, but mean the world to me. As Mother Teresa said, “Small acts with great love.”
Chivalry is another thing I wish to touch on, because I believe it is extremely important. Most women in this day and age believe that opening a door for a woman or giving her your coat is sexist. I want you to know that there are still women out there, like me, who don’t believe in this. While I don’t expect you to make all the decisions at home, or tell me I can’t work because I have to stay at home with the kids, I wouldn’t mind it if you took the heavy load of laundry up the stairs for me.
All I am asking for is the respect that I deserve. Now hopefully your mother taught you all of this and I should hope you would obey your mother, but I also understand if you don’t get this concept at first. I am ashamed to say that my gender has suddenly decided to kill chivalry and I apologize profusely on their behalf. It is not about taking away our rights to vote or saying that men can’t stay home and take care of the children, but it is about respecting and showing women and men alike the kindness they deserve. If you are really cold and want a coat then I can give you my coat, because I am showing you kindness. Please do not take offense at anything I’ve just said, but likewise, I will show you the respect that you deserve as well. If this marriage is to work, then we have to be faithful to each other. Cheating is just not acceptable and I would not be marrying you if I had any inkling that you thought it was okay.
I promise to love you as much as humanly possible. I promise to put God first and you second. I promise to be respectful, faithful, and kind. I promise to be truthful all the time. I promise to be humble and selfless and attend all your events and do all the things that you love to do. I promise to love you and only you and never another man. I promise to bear your burdens along with you and help you through the hard times in life. I don’t promise to not fight with you, because I promise that will defiantly happen. But I promise to always apologize or be forgiving and always find a way to reconcile with you.
But the only way I can promise you these things is if you swear to abide to each and every one of those promises as well. If you’re having any doubts that you can’t possibly promise all of these: don’t worry. Because I believe between the strength and grace from God and our love that we can make it through.
Our marriage must be an example to others that things can last and that even though we might fight and argue, we will still love each other, because that’s what a strong marriage can do.
THE 2015 FATHER CHARLES IRVIN ESSAY CONTEST WINNER
Every year, FAITH awards a $1,000 scholarship to a high-school senior in our diocese, based on an essay on a topic related to life in the Church. Our goal is to promote insightful thought and excellent writing, and to encourage careers in Catholic journalism. There are many ways to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, and good writing is one of them. We hope you enjoyed this year’s essay by Molly Lenhoff of Gabriel Richard High School.
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Editorial internship opportunities at FAITH Catholic are available for college students during the academic year and in the summer. Inquire to firstname.lastname@example.org.