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Beauty of Marriage

January 13, 2012

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I happened upon a great article yesterday about how our society has developed unrealistic expectations for marriage.  In our self-focused culture, couples are entering into marriage anticipating fulfillment without sacrifice.  People are expecting their needs to be wholly met, yet ironically unwilling to deny themselves—wanting a low-maintenance partner who requires little from them.   This is a recipe for failed marriage.

Drake and I celebrate sixteen years of marriage today.

Like so many, our life together has been incredibly challenging.  We have faced unmet dreams, unfulfilling work, financial instability, unforeseen setbacks, and hopes deferred by disappointment …not to mention intense suffering, loss or our beloved boy, and on-going grief.

Life does not look anything like we imagined it when we tied the knot with anticipation in January 1996.  We don’t have four kids.  Drake isn’t yet working as a university professor.   We don’t own a house.   So on and so forth.  And we have certainly failed at meeting each other’s needs as well.

Yet somewhere along the line, it became apparent to us both that the beauty of marriage arises not out of great circumstances or having our partner fulfill our every desire, but instead by offering all of ourselves, including our brokenness to one another and giving each other the space to struggle and fail and not be who we thought they were or wish they would be.

This is the grace God extends to us.  That although we struggle and fail and are not all he wants us to be, he loves, forgives, and accepts us.  Therein, the hard times of marriage have the potential to allow us to experience more of God’s transforming love…at a human level (Keller).

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