There have been times when well-meaning people see my marriage and tell me that I am “lucky.”… Or they ponder aloud that we must be relationship gurus who know some trick on doing this marriage thing right . . . All I can say is that luck and skill have nothing to do with it. There are plenty of people with better communication habits – or who seem like a better match on paper – who find themselves at the unexpected end of their marriage.
I know this: I am blessed to have my man.
I am blessed to share a home with my best friend and lover.
I also know that it is only by the Grace of God that we are still together. Back in 2005, our marriage was almost certainly over. After years of neglect, our house had grown cold, our marriage was crumbling and divorce was on the table.
We had tried to do it on our own: be a good husband . . . a good wife. . . love each other . . . in our own strength. How silly now that seems to me.
Our eyes were blinded by selfishness and pride as we muddled along trying to strong-arm one another into a “healthy” marriage. It was a bitter time, full of slamming doors and nasty words.
Laying in a heap on my living room floor, not having eaten in days, and crying till I had no more tears, I felt we had hit the lowest of lows. I am now so truly thankful for that low because it was just the fiery place we needed to wake us up.
In desperation, our last effort, we *both* admitted we were absolutely unable to do it. We were unable to love each other purely and completely enough to fill the other’s need. (The word *both* is key here . . . healing a marriage takes TWO dedicated and humble parties.) We woke to the realization that marriage cannot survive the immense burden of being each other’s fulfillment. Only a relationship with God and His perfect love provides us with the total fulfillment we crave.
It was a turning point.
Changing the direction of our gaze, we fixed our eyes not on our problems but on our solution – the only One who can fulfill our every longing. Pouring every ounce of our energy into following Christ, the natural result was the healing of our relationship. Our hearts, filled with love from Our Perfect Father, couldn’t help but overflow with love for one another. Slowly our home became a friendly place . . slowly, very slowly, a place of trust and soft-spoken words, a place of giving and forgiving.
I can honestly say that we have a completely different marriage today than the one we started with, and it is nothing short of a miracle.
These days, when we are invited to a wedding, I smile. I absolutely love the idea that other people get the chance to experience this thing that Andrew and I have . . . this thing that transcends human ability, and so perfectly displays the ways of God. Yes, I am loved by my husband so dearly, and he sacrifices much for my well-being, so it is easy for me to imagine how much Christ loves his people . . . .
I pray all those who desire it will be able to experience this miracle of marriage.
(One of my older blogs on marriage: The Beauty of Marriage)