My husband and I attended a couple of weddings this past summer. I love sitting by him at weddings, especially if our pastor is performing the ceremony, because I know we will hear our exact vows restated. It’s good to hear those amazing words again, to remember the covenant we made to one another, and to reflect on the 10 + years of our marriage. As I witnessed our friends saying those words to one another, I whispered to Charles, “They have no idea what they’re saying.”
Does that sound completely cynical and depressing?
It’s true. I had no idea what I was really saying to Charles almost 11 years ago. I had no idea the pain, the suffering, the hurt, the confusion, the heartache, the stress, the anger, the sadness, the joy, the freedom, the beauty, the love, the excitement, the intimacy, the successes, the failures, the STUFF that God would walk us through. I know more now than I did on December 20, 2003.
But we’re not finished.
I said to him just a couple of nights ago, “I’m with you. I’m with you in the hurt and pain and suffering of your past, and in the hurt and pain and suffering that is to come- and Lord knows, there is more to come.” Cynical and depressing again? Nah, just more true news.
More and more these days, I feel like I am learning a little bit more about what Paul means when he says about marriage, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32) The death and the new life. The killing of the old and the putting on of the new. The sacrifice and the giving. Those of you 10, 20, 50 years farther down the marriage road than I may be saying, “No, you still have no idea. You’re still like those kids on their wedding day.” You’re probably right. But thankfully, God is opening both of our eyes more and more to the gospel in every day life. I am learning how to appreciate the beauty of marriage, not just the functionality. I am praying for many, many more years to learn these lessons with this man.