What do you want? Really. What do you WANT?
This is all that life asks of us in every moment. Our answer to the question always manifests as a thought and that thought evolves into an action (or inaction, which is an action). We answer this question so much and so often that we often go through that process of answering and acting on auto pilot.
Do I want to smell like a pig today? No. So I think I'll shower. *takes a shower*
Do I want to have bad breath and tooth decay? No. I'll brush my teeth. *brushes teeth*
Do I want to walk outside without killing my feet? Yes. I'll put some shoes one. *you get the idea*
We make thousands of innocuous decisions based on our want and apply our will to that want every single day. But for some strange reason, when we come across something different in our world, something new, we act like we're answering the question "What do you want?" for the first time, ever. (We are such strange creatures!)
Being a wedding photographer, I get to witness the most grandiose answer to the question "What do you want" that someone could ever give. That would be the wedding where two people, very publicly, affirm that the person standing across from them is who they choose to love until they die.
So let's go back to the decision of brushing your teeth for a second. If you don't brush your teeth, in a day or two, your breath will be stanky. Yes, stanky. In a month, you'll be growing cavities like a cavity farmer. In a year, you're more than likely to suffer from some serious tooth decay and your friends will hold an intervention. In ten years, your teeth will be quite rotten and it'll be nigh impossible to get a job with such terrible hygiene. In thirty years, odds are good your entire mouth will hurt and the pain will affect everything you do in life.
So what's my point?
Marriage is like this. On the day of your wedding, you're making a decision to love this other person forever. But forever comes one day at a time.
Every day you have to answer the question "What do you want?" Many times the question is answered in other tiny questions that will affect things in your marriage a day from now, a year from now, even thirty years from now. Like a house that's built one nail and screw at a time, marriage is built one small decision at a time. At the end of your life, you'll look back and see a home that was built by the love (which is just another word for selflessness and sacrifice) between two people. All of those small decisions you made to put your spouse and your friend and your lover first will grow into the most beautiful expression of love.
So every day, when you have to answer the question "What do I want?", please remember to answer with thoughts of your future. Remember to answer with your actions. And remember to answer with love.