In His genius, God’s given us this wonderful gift to help us get our heads and hearts around the nature of God’s love for us.. When marriage works the way it’s meant to you end up finding out more about each other than you could otherwise and maybe more than you want to know.
Marriage is a mystery. Just when you think you’ve got the other person figured out, they surprise you, just like God does. Newlyweds quickly find out how much they don’t know about each other. But discovery…discovery is a lot of fun!
As you begin this adventure, this art, this dance called ‘marriage’, you discover things about yourselves, and God, that you can only discover by giving yourselves completely over to another person: body, mind and soul.
As both people leave their homes to create one new one, they have to leave some things behind. Two can’t become one without leaving something behind. “Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone”, Adam said because it cost him a little of both. More than that, he gave up being the sole object of God’s affection. He wasn’t God’s ‘only’ any more.
In marriage you leave behind an old identity. Your primary identity isn’t going to be somebody’s little girl, or someone’s little boy. You become someone’s wife or someone’s husband, and when it works right, no one else ever gets that same identity. You make the other whole. You are their safe place. You are one flesh, a new person, and this is a mystery.
When a woman leaves the shelter of her father and mother she’s coming to her husband to be her covering. What that’s supposed to mean for a man is that he puts his wife first, making her his top priority, in doing that they’ll both have a fresh revelation of the way the Father looks after them and creates a safe place for them to grow. When it works the way it’s meant to.
From the moment a couple is married, fulfilling the husband’s destiny means helping his wife fulfill hers. That’s why the idea of submission is meant to be attractive rather than repulsive. We’ve coloured over the real picture of submission with our self-centeredness. It’s not letting someone walk all over you, it never was.
Together a husband and wife get to learn what real submission is all about. They learn how it comes out of love and respect and not fear and oppression. They learn to defer to each other…or die!
No one will grow more grace in the rest of your life than your spouse will. No one else gets close enough to do the detail work that grace requires. “Love is blind” is a sulfuric lie. Love, real love, sees clearly but chooses love anyway. Together, a husband and wife find in loving each other “despite”, that the mystery of God’s grace for them as individuals finds a deeper place in both their hearts. They’ll find more grace for themselves and others.
When it works right, marriage teaches you to forgive each other quickly because if you’re not the one asking for it right now, you will be soon enough.
The way it’s supposed to work is that a husband keeps his wife on a pedestal. Woody Allen said, “I tended to place my wife under a pedestal.” Unfortunately, a lot of us have done that. When we’re living it right we don’t criticize her to our friends or make fun of something she’s said or done. We intentionally fan the flame of her gifts and her strengths, not just the flame of her passion for us. It’s working when a wife believes in her husband, even when he doubts himself, listens to his ideas, even when they make no sense and honors him with words in public and private. Real love doesn’t let each other give up on our dreams.
Sharing life doubles our joy. It amplifies our experience. God delighted in creating us for his pleasure and your experience of life, your awe of a sunset, your delight at a cool, summer breeze, your thrill to the gentle touch of your lover, and the rest that floods your hearts when you’re held in each others arms, multiplies your joy and God’s for you.
Marriage, when it works, is awesome, there’s nothing like it. When it breaks down, it’s hell, there’s nothing like it.
It’s a profound revelation. It’s a sweet mystery. Embrace the better and the worse, the richer and the poorer, the sickness and the health. In the midst of caring for someone more than you ever thought possible, you discover a fraction of a percent of how much the Father cares for you.