The great philosopher Forrest Gump famously said, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” The great thing about those chocolates is that you can bite into them, and if you don’t like what you got, you can choose another one.
Many people think something similar about marriage, too. If I don’t like the flavor, I’ll get rid of it and get a new one. I wrote last week about life being like a garden, and the similarities between the two. You have to prepare, plant, tend, water, weed, prune, pick, and a host of other actions for a garden to grow. Gump was right with his assessment about life.
A similar metaphor for marriage is wildflowers. If you go to a flea market, garden shop, or any other store that sells garden seeds, you’ll find a package of seeds titled: Wildflowers. There will be a picture on the package showing you what it is that the seeds produce. Different than that of any other seed package (corn, beans, or other flowers), you don’t really know what the contents will produce. The only way you can know is to buy the package, and go plant the seeds.
Marriage is just like this. We can think we know what flowers will grow from the package, but we can’t know until we marry, plant, tend, and grow the flower garden. The big challenge is when we get the results: The flowers bloom and sometimes they aren’t what we wanted, expected, or feel like we deserved.
It’s at this point that a person’s character begins to show up. What will you do with getting something that you didn’t want? How will you handle the loss, disappointment, anger, hurt, and resentment? Will you tear up the garden, destroy all the flowers/plants that have grown? To what extent will you try and control what has happened to you?
The beauty of marriage is that it reveals who we really are. We don’t need a host populated world like the show Westworld to show us who we are. Marriage does that well enough on it’s own. What will be revealed in you when you don’t get what you want?