July 28, 2014 by Nama
This morning my heart aches for a friend who said goodbye to her husband over the weekend. A few years ago in this steamy summer season Tim and i stood at the family photo table in the foyer of a little rural church hurting with another friend who had just said goodbye to the wife of his youth. As we looked at each image chronicling the years and love they had shared we tried to come to terms with how quickly one face can be ripped from those images. As we stood side by side we each knew… “Something has to change!” We knew in a way we would not escape that we had to find the path to treasuring one another and cherishing each moment we were gifted. If it was really true that as quickly as we had said the words “I do” it could all be snatched from our hands and hearts we could not waste another moment of this precious together life.
The problems weren’t huge; our marriage did not teeter on the brink of destruction. It was more a busy tired blur of tit for tat and tug-a-war we shared. We were not destroying each other, we were just not treasuring and cherishing a richness that was waiting so close, yet always just out of our reach.
We are still working out the “how” of learning to cherish and treasure. You see…we are both really selfish schmucks. All that really means is this…1. We are normal human beings with selfish sinful natures and 2. We need help; we cannot do this on our own.
i am going to ask my man to help me dig deeper into the “How” for next Monday, if he says yes, you will want to check back to see where his heart takes us. You may or may not have noticed but Tim and i kind-of have a “Marriage Mondays” thing going over here. We thought it would be fun to begin each week reflecting on what He has done in our Happily Ever After and how he wants us to grow in our commitment to forever.
For now, i have three thoughts that truly are enough to move us towards whole healthy forever Marriages.
Straight from Chapter 3 of John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage;
1. Marriage was God’s idea.
From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate. Mark 10:6–9
This is the clearest statement in the Bible that marriage is not merely a human doing. The words “God has joined together” means it is God’s doing.
This covenant Tim and I made before God 33 years ago was not my idea; neither I nor Tim has the freedom to decide we are done. Our God ordained this union and we took a covenant vow saying we would fight for forever, till eternity.
2. Marriage was designed for one purpose…to point others to the grace and love of our Saviour, modeling His covenant with us.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31–32
In other words, the covenant involved in leaving mother and father and holding fast to a spouse and becoming one flesh is a portrayal of the covenant between Christ and his church. Marriage exists ultimately to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church.
3. Paul writes one of the most wonderful things imaginable for each of us as individuals, it should become a powerful motivation to allow His Love and forgiveness to heal our marriages.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13–14
If my loving Father gave his only Son’s life that i may have forgiveness and freedom from my every failing, i must choose to forgive and extend love to my man as he falls short of my expectations.
If you are saying, “You don’t know what it is like here, you don’t know how hard daily life is!” You are right! i do not know the realities of any relationship other than mine with Tim, but i do know we have a God who we can run to. i do know we have a God who has promised in Philippians 4:19 that He will provide all we need. And i do know our God is waiting for you to run to him and to allow him to prove to you He is worthy of your trust.
If you are hurting and wanting a new tomorrow, we love you! We pray you will find the strength to take a step towards your Heavenly Father and in that obedience you will find direction and hope.