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?