The day I was married ended up being the hottest day of the summer in Illinois. The tuxedos we ordered were better suited for winter weddings. The air conditioning in the church was failing, and hundreds of warm bodies in the pews didn’t help.
Penny and I never expected it to be that hot and to sweat that much.
The service went great and the reception was a blast. The banquet hall echoed with laughter and clinking glasses and the young and elderly all dancing to, “You Know you Make Me Want to Shout.” By the end of the night, Penny and I said our final goodbye’s, and collapsed into the limo. Our day began just before 5AM and it was non-stop emotion and movement, and smiling (so much smiling)
Penny and I never expected to be that exhausted.
We made the hour drive up to the Hilton at O’Hare airport, carried our luggage in, found our way to the room, and walked in for the first time as Husband and Wife. We sat down on the bed, and took a deep breath, looked at each other, and smiled at the situation we found ourselves in. I leaned over for a kiss, and Penny whispered, “Bobby pins”. “What?” I said. Now granted I didn’t have any experience with wedding nights, but it still seemed like an odd thing to say. “In my hair” she explained. She turned her head to explain further.
My wife’s hair was pulled up for the day, in a way that beautifully highlighted the curve of her face and her slender neck….it was gorgeous. What I did not realize was that to accomplish this feat required an intricate network of little steel girders providing support to the entire structure….300 of them to be exact.
So there we were, sweaty, exhausted, emotionally drained, sitting on the bed as I located and removed 300 Bobby pins.
Penny and I never expected our first night together to look like that.
I was told early on by my Sunday school and youth group teachers that I should wait to have sex until I was married. I was told to save myself for the wedding night, and if I did, that night would be the most amazing night of my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was a 22-year-old guy alone with my wife, the night was still great. But looking back, I now know that I was not saving myself for the wedding night. The wedding night (as good as it was) was not the physical culmination of our relationship, it was the beginning of a life-long journey of discovery and intimacy, and awkwardness, and joy. I was saving myself for every night that would follow.
With patience and attention, many of the expectations we have for physical intimacy can be realized. But this, I would argue, is not the point and purpose of the wedding night. Those kinds of expectations can only lead to disappointment, misunderstanding, and hurt — all of which go against God’s original design of sex.
So for all of the couples out there preparing for your wedding day, I would say this about your wedding night: Have fun, no pressure and no expectations. You are at the beginning, it gets better, you have time, and please, PLEASE discuss the use of “hair scaffolding” before you get to the hotel room!