“…We must say to ourselves something like this: ‘Well, when Jesus looked down from the cross, he didn’t think “I am giving myself to you because you are so attractive to me.” No, he was in agony, and he looked down at us – denying him, abandoning him, and betraying him – and in the greatest act of love in history, he STAYED. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse.’ Speak to your heart like that, and then fulfill the promises you made on your wedding day.”
– Tim Keller, “The Meaning of Marriage.”
It was 3 years ago today that I walked down the aisle to the most amazing man I have ever known. I remember that day wondering what our marriage would be like. I knew our perfect day wouldn’t last forever. And it hasn’t. Here’s why I don’t have a perfect marriage and why I’m okay with it.
The simple answer is, Steven and I are sinners. We wake up each day fighting against our daily sins. Which in turn impacts our marriage. They may NOT be sins like infidelity or abuse but we have bad days where we forget to respect one another. Days where we are tired and overwhelmed. But we don’t give up on each other.
One of our biggest struggles in the last 3 years has been maneuvering through my depression and anxiety. Steven has been so patient with me. Other days he’s felt frustrated and confused. But he is still here. That’s why I love Tim Keller’s quote above. It represents the true meaning of marriage. How when we see each other at our worst we still want to stay.
On our wedding day, Steven and I adopted a wedding tradition from some of our dear friends, Brent and Sherry Carlstrom. We decided to put on some aprons and serve our cake to our guests. That was the way we wanted to start our marriage. Serving others together.
As we were cutting the cake we struggled not to make a mess. There were times I was afraid that whole cake would fall over. There were times I even had more cake on my hands than on the plate I was handing to my guest. That small gesture is exactly how marriage is.
Like cutting a cake for 100 plus guests, marriage gets messy. There are times you cut a perfect piece and there are times you have to keep the cake from falling on the ground. Eventually you find your groove together. You figure out a system that works. Maybe you cut the cake while your spouse serves it to guests. It’s still not perfect, but you’re doing it together.
I encourage married couples to work together throughout their marriage. No it’s not easy. It’s hard. Some days it feels like you want to quit or can’t put forth any more effort. But without God at your center your marriage cannot work. God created marriage to be a representation of our relationship with Him. It’s the closest thing we have here on earth. The farther you are from God, the farther you are from your spouse.
Yes, this even happens to the best of Christians. My husband and I have been there. We’ve found ourselves drifting apart from our foundation, which is God. Our marriage isn’t perfect but we wake up each day fighting for it. We work together through the mess and we work together through the easy days. We are teammates.
Satan has a tendency to use spouses against one another. You may feel like you’re fighting against one another. But really you’re in it together. Once again my marriage is NOT perfect. Nor do I have all the answers. We just do our best to to keep God in the center of our marriage.
In honor of our 3 year Wedding Anniversary, Steven and I are giving away a free copy of Tim Keller’s, “The Meaning of Marriage.” This book helped us a lot to prepare for our wedding day. We want to share it with you. Find out how you can win a copy by clicking on the book title above.