Thursday, September 15, 2011

This momentary marriage...

Lately I've been reading This Momentary Marriage  by John Piper. I've hardly read a handful of chapters, but I'm already seeing things in a different light. The books starts off by talking about martyrdom. (Funny way to start a book of marriage, huh?) What he has to say is very different from what you normally hear people talk about. Some of the comments I've heard make being married sound awful! It got me thinking about all the things people told us before we got married...

"It'll be a huge adjustment."

"The first year is the hardest."

"Just wait, the big fight is coming."


Well, we're still waiting for that fight and we actually love being married. Sure, we get frustrated sometimes and I know that there will be conflict and pain. Still, we are really hoping that we won't fight very much and we are very careful not to say anything negative or hurtful towards one another. We don't always agree on things, but have decided that most of the things we disagree on just aren't worth bickering about. We know how to push each others buttons, but choose not to do so. I think part of the reason we feel this way goes back to what Piper talks about in the book. We know that marriage isn't intended for simply for our happiness. Staying married isn't about staying in love. It's a covenant. it is meant to be a picture of God's relationship with His bride, the Church. 




Looking at marriage like this takes a lot of selfishness out of it. Now we certainly haven't perfected this by any means...our relationship is definitely not where it could be! By nature we are selfish beings, but the goal of conformity to Christ fuels our desire to love each other with selflessness. I know that we will hurt each other eventually, but in that moment we are called to forgive. Marriage is much bigger than we are. It is a beautiful, deep covenant. Knowing this helps when our differences get on each other's nerves! (And we are very different!) 



In marriage I am shown grace everyday. I am a flawed wife, and yet my husband loves me in spite of that. He chooses not to point out my faults, but encourages me and critiques me when needed in love. I am blessed to have a husband who has such a Biblical view on marriage. He shows me Christ every day by his actions. I look forward to raising children with Him to be little followers of Christ. What a beautiful and challenging calling!

So today if you are married, I encourage you to view marriage as the precious, sacred covenant that it is. Our culture has demeaned it's value but it is a beautiful thing. Sure, it's hard sometimes. In marriage the real you comes out, especially when personalities clash. But God has made this a tool to help you become more like Him! If you aren't married, seek God first. He never promised marriage to anyone, but He gives it as a blessing. He knows the right timing for you. I promise you can trust Him with that!


So what do you guys think about marriage? Have you heard those comments before? What is your experience and what has God taught you through the adventure of marriage?

41 comments:

theolivetree said...

well I got married just shy of turning 21 so I heard every reason on why not to get married :) BEST choice I ever made...my husband is seriously my best friend...8 years, kids, dogs ,a house... I am still waiting for the "big fight". What a difference having God in your marriage makes :)

Susan said...

We have been married 6 years and we don't fight either. We really agree on most things, but when we don't we tell each other right away so things don't build up and fester. We talk all the time about absolutely everything and for us I think that is the key. I have however seen other couples struggle in that first year, even those in godly marriages. But that doesn't mean that my marriage is any better because God may have a way of using that struggle they went through in the future. I am just thankful that God blessed us with such an easy marriage!

Ashley said...

We've been married for almost 7 years, and I can't say we NEVER fight... 2 young kids, a big move, a demanding job, and anxiety/depression have all contributed. Yet, I wouldn't change ANYTHING. By God's grace, we've only grown and learned from our disagreements. Each season of life brings new challenges and joys, and I'm so grateful to have my sweet husband as the one constant rock through it all!

Liz said...

This is beautiful! You are so right about people from the "world" offering their advice and opinions about what married life is going to be. So happy to prove them wrong, even if the hubs and I share a minor disagreement hear or there. It happens, but it's happening with God in the picture which makes it so much more comforting and rewarding. We are definitely in a new season of life & it's so amazing what God is showing us, not only about each other but also about our relationship together.

Cassidy Robinson said...

Jen, I love you... but I disagree a little bit. I think where the world lies to us is that in marriage you will "never fight" and things will be "blissful and perfect." That's why so many get divorced. They are unsatisfied. Two imperfect people are destined to run into conflict. But, it is used to refine us and, like you said, make us more like Christ!

I never would have thought that in our first year of marriage Josh would lose his brother to cancer, my mom would be in jail, Josh would be in the hospital almost every month.... but those things happened and brought us to our knees. And in grieving and pain, there is conflict. We didn't always respond well, I wish we did. Maybe you won't face the same things in your marriage... (I pray not!) but it is important to remember that in this world we will have trouble. And marriage is not an exception. :)

Jennifer said...

I didn't mean that we'd never fight! I know there will be conflict and pain, but that wasn't really the focus of this. I wanted to portray the view that marriage is good and God given. It's amazing to me how He has used it to show grave in my life...because neither of us are perfect!

Amy said...

My husband and I have been married for 4 years. I believe God does bless some people with a more easy marriage relationship. Others of them take a lot of work. If you are in a marriage with few to no fights you are extremely blessed. My husband and I don't fight much either. I don't think that having arguments is always a bad thing though. I think it teaches us, helps us grow, teaches us how to forgive, etc. But then I see godly people who have just hard hard marriages and I see my marriage and while I am thankful I wonder...why? It's not that I am better or doing things perfectly... why do they have to go through that when they obviously are seeking God with everything they are? And I think that some people are just called to persevere and overcome and gain victory in their marriage. Some people are called to bear the weight of infertility, some cancer, some stillbrith, some struggle financially, and the list can go on. I think some people, no matter how godly they are, just struggle to maintain peace. It doesn't mean they are doing it wrong, it just means they struggle more than others to be that picture of the gospel. Marriage is a story. And we live in a fallen world. Our stories on this cursed earth are going to contain conflict. Learning how to fight well is such a blessing in my marriage b/c I do not fear that "big fight" It's an opportunity to show grace and love like Christ loves us; an opportunity for God to draw us to himself and redeem us! Great post! :)

Jennifer said...

....I meant grace not grave!

a girl with a smile said...

Not married but a strong believe in that marriage is aimed toward holiness. I really enjoyed reading this, since in my culture marriage is viewed negatively.

monster cakes said...

I heard those same things, and truth be told, we did have a really hard first year, BUT I am continually shocked and amazed at how much better marriage gets everyday. I love that man more everyday, and he continues to make me as giddy as a school girl. I wish people would tell more young couples that your marriage is what you make it. If you want to be madly in love everyday, you can! You get what work you put in it. Glad to hear you guys are so happy. : )

It's A Love Story said...

I heard all those thing! I would like to read some books on marriage how is the book you are reading now? Any good?

What religion our you?

Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

Beautifully said. I've heard all the horrors of marriage and just cringe thinking how unhappy they choose to make it. And vow to not be that person and keep a joyful view on marriage.

I'll have to look into this book one day. :)

Emily w/Amazing Grapes

Noelani said...

What an absolutely lovely post! :)

daniel.and.stefanie said...

We are on the exact same wave length with books! I just finished that book the other weekend because we are hoping to read it in our couples small group. I loved it- such a biblical view of marriage. We actually just had a discussion last night in our small group about the introduction of that book!

Cassidy Robinson said...

Oh Jen, I know. I just want to make sure that there's a balanced view of what marriage is. Josh and I have a wonderful and blessed marriage. I am thankful for every struggle we face because it only brings us closer and makes us stronger for the glory of God! I think Amy summed it up perfectly. :)

Heather said...

Been married for almost 5 years, and we heard all of those things going into it, as well. Fortunately, most of the people in our families and church community were 100% supportive. We dated for 2 years, so they were confident we knew what we were "doing," and we were only engaged for 3 months, so they knew "why" HAHAHA.

Marriage is a beautiful thing... something that so much our "world" distorts. A continual focus on serving one another and considering the needs of each other are crucial. Also-- understanding that life is stressful, busy, and chaotic and that we can not find our happiness or our fufillment in being anything other than a daughter of God and find our love in HIM. Of course, our husband is out #1 partner in this life and our main priority... but you know what I mean.

I totally get what you're saying here and I love your heart! You are an amazing woman!

Ironically enough, our 1st year of marriage has been our "easiest" in the sense that we had the least amount of stressful events going on. Year 2 and 3 were spent with unemployment trials (LONG STORY) and year 4 has been an adjustment process (moving, new job, etc).... We went through a LOT during year 2 and 3 but the biggest thing we learned was to just communicate our feelings along the way.

And receive help and counsel from other BELIEVERS along the way... do not ever receive counsel from people who are not like minded, and or who do not share similar marriage values! Take it from me :) I got some really bad advice from a family member and it caused a lot of tension between me and hubby for a few days (and an actual divide between him and that family member to this day unfortunately) but WE are stronger because we fought for OUR MARRIAGE.

Always remembering that you are on the same TEAM, and that with God on your side, you can do anything and defeat any "obstacles" that come your way!

You two are amazing and I'm so blessed that you are enjoying marriage and that it has defied all lies that others unfortunately told you! Praise God! xo

The Arizona Russums said...

i have been wanting to read "this momentary marriage" for a while now. as soon as i finish another piper book i'm reading, i am going to jump on it. can't wait! and thanks for sharing!!!

Beka said...

Great post! Love love love it! :)

You are one of my most favorite bloggers. everrrrr.

My husband and I love being married. we always joke that dating was SO and HIGHLY overrated. ;)


xoxoxoox

Claire said...

Amen, amen, and AMEN! Preach it! Every word you wrote resonated so strongly in my heart.

I got married at 18 and was told every nasty thing about marriage in the book. But you know what? Marriage is exactly what you said--a BLESSING. It's a beautiful, wonderful journey in which God shows us more and more of His character every day. It's a tangible expression of the love of God and His heart for His church. It's the most beautiful adventure of my life!

Thanks for writing this. We all need to stand a little straighter as we speak out about marriage. I remember one of my mentors said that one time she was praying for friends of hers who seemed on the verge of divorce. She prayed for them and said "oh God, they're hanging by a thread!" and she said in that moment she heard God loud and clear say, "If you can say that, then you have no idea how strong the bond of marriage truly is." Marriage is a covenant that is so strong.

Love is strong as death, and jealousy demanding as the grave. Many waters cannot quench it.

Beautiful post! And I'm so glad you found my blog.... I'm so glad I found yours!!!!

lowercase letters said...

well, i'm not married (i'm seventeen for pete's sake and i'm happily single! lol) but i just wanted to say thank you, jen, for writing this. sometimes i'm not sure if i want to get married because so many people complain about it and have nothing good to say about it. this post gives me hope. :)
xoxo

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

i absolutely love this post! so true! i'm 23 and just got married almost 2 months ago. i absolutely love it! just came across your blog girl, love it. can't wait to read more!
xo TJ

http://mrtaylorandhislady.blogspot.com

Breanne said...

Amen, amen, and amen. Love this and have been learning it myself.
Something I've learned is God is going to do whatever brings Him the most glory. I know that we can do more together than we can separate and I am so blessed I get to further the kingdom with my husband in whatever ways that may look like.

-Breanne

Alexis Kaye said...

you are a sweetheart. I agree whole heartdely about looking at it like a convenant. A three way covenant, actually, including God in there as well. And by the way, people told us some AWFUL things when we were engaged! so glad we haven't seen them show validity! But then again, it's really how you look at it.

Christin said...

I'm engaged and have been reading this book too. It's such a good book and gives such a different perspective to what the world tells us marriage is. I'm hoping and praying that my marriage will be one that reflects Christ in the way the book explains it is meant to. Praying yours continues on as you've described it :)

hannah singer said...

amen. we read this last year. solid goodness, love it! so glad you shared it here! xo

Katie said...

I got married when I was 18 and my husband was 22. We have a really strong marriage and the whole reason is because we put God first and we choose to love each other no matter what.

For us the first year was the easiest so I never understood why people said it would be the hardest. I can happily say neither of us have resorted to sleeping on the couch and regardless of how hard headed I am I have a wonderful husband who balances me out perfectly.

One thing I hear that drives me nuts is women putting down their husbands. I can't believe some of the things I've heard come from women who chose these men to be their other half. Blows my mind.

Katie@http://batsinthebelfry-katie.blogspot.com/

Katie said...

BTW we've been married over 7 years and still going stong :)

♥ CheChe said...

the more I learn of marriage the more I am seeing how short I fall. The more I desires what God desires for me in a man the more I realize... how short I fall. I want to have a love and trust with our father in heaven that enables me to be the woman worthy of the man that I seek.

So humbling. When you remove the emotions and fleshy desires for marriage all I see is something that I want desperately but have no idea when I will ever be ready to tackle..

It truly is sacred and can only be complete when founded on the precepts of our savior..

Love your post girl!!

♥cheche

Emma Frances said...

What a good reminder. I love being married but it really is hard to stop being so selfish! It's definitely a wonderful thing to learn though!

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Such a beautiful post! I love your thoughts on marriage and when I do find the love of my life, I hope we will work on being in love forever! xoxoxoxoo

The Soul Anchor said...

How timely for you to write this now and for me to read. Thank you for these thoughts and these reminders. I hope to grow into a wife that will honor God and honor my future husband!

courtney elizabeth munafo said...

amen to everything you said!! yes, marriage is more about holiness than happiness. i also heard a quote once that said "your love for your spouse should not depend on what the other person does for you, but only on what you do for the other person." or something like that! but my love for my husband should have nothing to do on what i get out of the relationship, but in how much i selflessly and unconditionally give. i love marriage...it is so beautiful and refining.

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

I love your thoughts on marriage, it's so nice to hear how happy you are in your marriage... i love that you haven't fought yet...love the photo of the 2 of you...gorgeous couple!

Amanda V said...

Beautiful Post :) We both got married at 21 and we did hear all that and MORE. My parents were not supportive at all, so it was extremely hard...but we prayed about it for a very long time & after 3 and a half years God helped me make the best decision EVER. With God as number one in the relationship, there is nothing you can't get through! The first year was amazing and I'm learning new things everyday! We are super blessed to have husbands who love Jesus! Marriage is a beautiful thing, and those struggles will eventually come unfortunately, but you learn from them and become even stronger! thanks for these words :)

Love Unawakened said...

BEAUTIFUL pics!!

Luisa Rodríguez said...

Amen.
I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband!!


What a beautiful post. I'm so happy for you guys!
I love that in BlogLand, I've found so many people of faith. They really make the world a better place..



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Purposely at Home said...

even though i'm not married yet, i considered this post a great encouragement. thank you, jennifer.

you might want to check out my blog on monday...*smile*

The New June said...

Thank you so much for this post - it was very timely :) We've been married for almost 3 years and it we certainly heard it all but, like you, we've chosen to rise above - with God's (constant, lol) help. Still, it's nice to have a friendly reminder, so thanks again!

Jazmin @ The Miller's said...

Thanks for the encouragement. :o)

♥Jazmin

Amylou said...

Jen...this was so beautiful and inspiring. I loved every word you've said! I feel like I've learned so much in our three years and that I learn more and more daily. So glad that God can teach us those wonderful lessons!
Thanks for sharing this!

Sydney said...

Such a sweet post! I love it! And all the photos.
Let me say this, I can't wait for marriage. It's not an amazingly easy road, but I imagine that being with your best friend for the rest of your life is a joy and that, no, it's not always a fairy tale, but it doesn't have to be what people say it is.

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