Marriage is different from a wedding. Everyone loves weddings. Most people I talk to seem to be pretty down about marriage. Odd, eh?
I remember the night before I got married I bumped into a stranger who told me that I was really in for it. He claimed that no girl was ever worth it because of all the freedom you lose in marriage. Some married friends would also tell me similar things, hinting that our affection was just because we were new at the relationship game and in a few years we would cool down and settle into a boring routine not unlike having a roommate. Generally, the picture we got of marriage before (and after) it happened was dim.
I was afraid for a little while that these experienced people were right. I was scared because I thought I really loved Ruth when we were engaged and first married. Could it have been that it was little more than an extreme infatuation destined to cool off and lose all its affection before our third year together? Critics of marriage had both experience and popular opinion on their side. Is marriage the prison sentence they make it out to be?
After four years of marriage I have come to place the following label on this sort of advice: CRAP
Four years and two kids has done nothing to abate my love, affection and energy for Ruth. In fact, I tell you the truth, I have more love, affection, passion and fun for/with my wife now than I EVER have. I don’t say this because I’m separated from her right now, I’m not being affected with an over-acting sympathetic spirit. I mean it completely honestly. The only thing that has cooled off in our marriage is conflict and misunderstanding. We have more fun and love and gentleness than we’ve ever had. This past year was our best year for marital bliss. Prospects for next year seem even better. I’m inclined to believe that every year after will turn out to be the best years of our lives. My marriage rocks.
I think, perhaps, it’s because we work for it. We are not willing to let anything quietly grow up between us that will damage our relationship. We refuse to live separate lives. We refuse to let petty things and mistrust get in the way of our enjoyment of each other. And it works.
In the end I think it’s the Gospel that makes our marriage great. The Gospel enables us to cover a multitude of sins with love. It also gives us the power to kill that sin after it’s covered. Christ is our marriage counselor.
So you were are almost married or newly marriage or marriage ages ago. Don’t settle for what our society calls a normal marriage. Work hard, trust Christ, and love your wife! There’s hardly an earthly joy that even comes close to a good marriage. Maybe that’s because marriage has a touch of heaven in it.