I’ve been on this journey of marriage with this sweet husband of mine for 15 years. We haven’t always had a Christian marriage and we’ve been through a lot. We’ve experienced joy and we have cried deep heart-wrenching tears. We have celebrated graduations, birthdays, job promotions. And we have mourned as loved ones have been called to heaven. We have experienced tragedy and illness and we have also been showered with joy unspeakable. We have had losses that have rocked the foundation of who we are. We’ve been through seasons where we just had to pick up the pieces and carry on.
Our journey to live a Christian Marriage:
It hasn’t been easy, these last 15 years. For starters, I was 20 years old when I met my husband. As I sit here and type I try to comprehend the person I was back before life had really begun. We were different people. We had different agendas than we have now. I try to think, what did I know about love or being in love or about choosing a husband for that matter? The answer is, I knew nothing about any of it. But, thankfully I now know a God whose grace covered all my unknowns at the time.
And because of “grace”; a twenty-something girl and a thirty-something boy after being invited to church fell down at the altar one night a couple of years into a broken marriage and said, “God have your way; we want our marriage to begin to reflect what a Christian marriage should look like.”
And He did use our marriage; in a big way!
Today as I sat down during the daily hustle, I had a long breath. It was one of those long breaths where you feel like you could recap your last 10 years in a moment’s time. Memories flooded my mind; some good and some bad. They were all necessary to get us where we are today. Flashes of our life before God and after God strung together a story of immense struggle and glorious redemption. I took a huge breath in and meditated on the work God had done in our lives. It was a humbling moment of experiencing the awe of coming under an authority greater than myself and thinking, “there is no place I’d rather be.”
Now nine years later I see a Christian marriage that was never intended to glorify me but to glorify the creator that is God. I realize how I could have really missed out. I could have missed out on adventure. The complete thrilling adventure of getting on a plane to a third world country to meet your children you have never seen with the only reason being, “God told me to.” I could have missed out on giving up a traditional American life to chase after the heart of God. I could have missed out on complete abandon of everything “normal” America says that is happiness and maybe never even felt what true happiness was.
Now on our 8th year of marriage, we have no need to bicker about who did the dishes or whose turn it is to put the kids to bed. Instead, we praise God that our mission as a couple for God’s kingdom pales in comparison to the things we could have invested our happiness or based our contentment after. When we focus on God we realize we are set on a divine mission. This mission is to accomplish God’s will and plan as a team. This makes the daily things we could argue over no longer relevant.
Nine years ago curled up on the floor at the altar with my husband’s hand in mine both weeping. We begged God to take our marriage from us and make it His own, as we sat on the carpeted floor like there was no one else in the room. It took two years into a broken marriage and at that moment, God showed us our marriage was no longer about us and it was that day we were free.
Marriage in general but especially Christian marriage was never intended to make us happy, or fulfill all our needs. Its purpose was much more beautiful much more eternally gratifying. It was for God. Not just for God but the act of being in a union intended to carry out the will of God on this earth. And the best part is life will keep getting more exciting. I will never tire of chasing after this God and the adventures He has for our marriage. Is it easy? No. But nothing of any value comes without a price.
Our newly found Christian marriage is no longer becomes about us but about Him, and it’s pretty great.
My prayer for today:
Father, I pray for marriages everywhere. I pray that we are overcome with the purpose of marriage and its divine intention as a picture of your love for the church and also its purposes for your kingdom. God, I pray that you give us a revelation of your intent for our marriages. Father let us not be consumed with our own happiness but give us an overwhelming joy and enthusiasm for the plans you have set before us as married couples. Let us be consumed by your love. Let our lives be transformed as a result.
Help us not be consumed with the trap of measuring our happiness or contentment by being inwardly focused but fix our eyes on you and your kingdom. Father let our love for our spouses be a light to this dark world and anoint the plans you have for these unions for your kingdom. It is in your precious name we pray, amen.