Marriage is an ongoing, vivid illustration of what it costs to love an imperfect person unconditionally. The same way Christ has loved us.
When some people think of marriage, they may think about living a blissful life with their prince charming. They may think of having children and raising a family together. They may even think about all of the fun adventures they will have with just the two of them, no plans of children. For others, they may think of the wedding itself, not giving much thought to the rest of the process that being married involves. Yet for some, they may have fearful thoughts of fighting, infidelity, and unhappiness, possibly due to a prior experience they have had whether it be their own previous marriage or their parents.
Whichever thoughts you may have I think there is one true description of what marriage is, regardless of who you are or what your views are. Marriage is a true leap of faith. Though many people do get married, I doubt many people think of this sacred joining in these terms. We have no way of predicting the future. It is impossible to know with absolute certainty whether or not your marriage will last the test of time. Hell, there’s no promise that you and your significant other will love each other forever as much as you do on your wedding day. But you go through with it anyway. You make the commitment to each other, and vow to love each other for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
This is a bold and brave act.
Isn’t it easier to make a decision about something when we are almost certain of the outcome? Though there is no way for us to know what our lives will bring in the future we vow to love this one person, and only them, for the rest of our days. Isn’t this what faith is all about? Believing in something with all your heart, even when you cannot be absolutely certain of the future.
Once we can wrap our minds around this concept, we can begin to appreciate the great act of devotion our spouse has shown us. Out of the billions of people on earth, my husband chose me to marry. He chose me to spend the rest of his life with. He chose me to share his life with, and to share all of the wonderful things life brings. Despite the high divorce rates, stories of infidelity, knowing all of the unhappily married couples out there, my husband took a true leap of faith and married me anyway. Even though he cannot foresee the future or know with certainty how our lives will play out, he chose me. What an amazing, beautiful, and brave act of love that is! Just thinking about the enormity of this commitment makes me love him even more. It makes me grateful to have someone in my life who loves me so much that he risks everything (heartbreak, finances, pride) so he can be with me.
Does this not also emulate our relationship with God?
No matter what we do, regardless of what the future holds, He loves us unfailingly. He has committed and vowed to us that He will be there for us no matter what we do. No matter all the horrible things we may do or say, He will always forgive us and welcome us into a life with Him. He loves us so much that he sacrificed His only son to save us. He. Chose. Me. And you. And all of us. Our spouse choosing a life with us is similar to the amazing love God has for us.
I wanted to write about this topic today because at times we all get caught up in the small stuff. Your husband didn’t help with the laundry like he said he would, you had a disagreement about money, you exchanged hurtful words neither of you truly meant during a time of frustration. There is bound to be messiness in a marriage, and lots of it. Marriage is a joining of two DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Two separate people commit their lives to each other, and try to make one life together. Of course there will be trouble and messiness! But when you get upset with your spouse, remember the amazing act of love they have already shown you by committing theirself to you for the rest of their lives. Thinking about that kind of makes that laundry seem pretty insignificant doesn’t it? It’s easy to forget all the good things our spouses do for us, so let’s make a point to emphasize the good stuff. Because there is a lot of it! And the best part is the more you focus on the good stuff, the more good stuff there will be.