As I’m here in Texas to officiate at my niece’s fantastic wedding festivities, and just coming off of our own celebration of twenty-five years, I’m thinking a lot about marriage, family, and eternity. So I’ll send you an old pic (us) and a new pic (them).
Whether we’re young and idealistic or seasoned and cynical, marriage for the long haul requires a zealous and sacrificial love (Romans 12:9-18). To “live in harmony with each other” will at times test every fiber of one’s being, but our Lord never calls us to something for which He does not also promise to provide us with the required strength to complete the assignment.
When God calls us into covenant marriage with another believer, He calls us into a very good thing! That is because we serve a good God, and He delights in sharing His bountiful goodness with us (Psalm 145). As God is gracious and merciful to us, and as He extends His hand to provide for us every day and in every season, we reflect His own goodness by our mercy and grace toward each other. By doing what is right for each other. By faithfully being who we need to be for each other. This is a powerful and incarnational love made reality by the Holy Spirit in us.
And I’ll add one more thought about marital love. We have to choose, at least some days, to wear it. If we have eyes to see, Jesus is right here with us when we least expect it. Just like the eyes of two weary travelers on the road to Emmaus had to be opened and revived (Luke 24:31), so do ours. Our Savior is on the road with us. He is in our ups and downs, and He is sovereign over every nuance of our journey. Even the road map is His. Christ knows what’s coming over the next hill, so we can know that ultimately ALL IS WELL.
Let “no one” rob another person of this amazing portrait of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. That is not my counsel. It is the warning of Jesus (Mark 10:9). It is a sobering word, but it a word full of grace. You and I thrive only when we do things God’s way, and God wants us to thrive!
Briana and Brandon, and all of the rest of you who will soon be in the thick and thin of real-life challenges to those vows which you have made, hang in there! It’s worth it. Because right now counts forever.