Last night Josh and I had a young, engaged couple over for dinner. They wanted to pick our brains.
There were lots of questions:
What is marriage like? How do you fight? What expectations should we have? How did you handle this? What do you think about that?
As I sat there with them, talking late into the night about the challenges and lessons Josh and I have learned in the last 9-1/2 years, I realized how lucky I am to have this man by my side. So many couples don’t make it; so many of our friends marriages haven’t made it. We’ve fought, sweated and begged for our marriage to work.
Steal, Kill and Destroy
Satan hates marriage. I assume this because God hates divorce. Marriage, throughout scripture, is used as a type of our relationship with God. The church is His bride and Jesus is the bridegroom. Just as Jesus is the head of the church, so is a husband the head of his household. We are to respect Jesus and He loves us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
In our marriages, Satan comes to steal.
Our joy. Our trust. Our peace.
In our marriages, Satan comes to kill.
Our love. Our commitment. Our faith.
In our marriages, Satan comes to destroy.
Our lives. Our marriages. Our families.
Jesus says He came so that we might have life; life to the fullest. He didn’t say that we would endure each other because as Christians we’re really supposed to stay together. He didn’t say that for the sake of the kids we’ll stick it out until they’re out of the house. He didn’t say that marriage eventually becomes a stale, glorified roommate and companion.
We are to have life to the fullest in our marriages. Passion. Interest. Excitement. Deep, soul-stirring love. Better than anything we see in the movies because it’s unscripted and genuine.
Naked and Unashamed
Genesis describes Adam and Eve being naked and unashamed. I see this as more than a physical description. Adam and Eve, as husband and wife, were vulnerable to one another. They were boldly themselves with nothing to hide behind.
Josh knows all the things about me that I really don’t want anyone to know. The same goes for me with him. Unfortunately, shame does creep in sometimes. We feel ashamed to have the ugly there for another to see.
Then we remember that despite that thing we’d rather keep covered, we’re both still here. We’re both committed, we’re both supporting the other as we try to cut that ugly thing out of our life.
That’s what marriage is about: loving one another and fighting for each other, despite the ugly.
Wife of My Youth
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Proverbs 5:18
Having married at the age of 20, Josh and I have had a lot of maturing to do in our relationship. From the beginning he has called me “wife of my youth.” I love the sound of that, because when he says it he truly sounds like he’s rejoicing.
Talking with that young couple last night I was hit, full-force, once again with the blessing it is to have Josh in my life. In talking about the hard times, I was also able to rejoice over the husband of my youth. To point out how his differences from me have made me a more balanced person. Marrying him has changed me for the better.
So often I forget to acknowledge this. The stress of the day, the busyness of dinner and bedtime routines in the evening, the fatigue of those few hours before bed. I don’t remember to rejoice over my husband. Yesterday I wrote about the importance of companionship in our lives; how relationships truly are a gift from God to fulfill a need He has given us.
In my life, my husband is a gift from God. Today I’m remembering the value in saying thank you to God for the gift He’s given, as well as letting Josh know that I view him that way. I am choosing to rejoice in the husband of my youth and will continue to until my youth seems a distant memory.