Friday, January 17, 2014

Letters to my Daughter: Love and Marriage and all that

picture credit here

Dearest Snooglepops,
You are little enough that I can call you that. I'm writing you these letters, as I think about things. I don't know what the future holds. This is for you one day, when you are thinking about things.

There's so much angst in life, people trying to find love. My age bracket. So much loneliness and pain and longing to be loved and to love. And crazy messed up relationships. And people breaking eachother's hearts. And people using eachothers' hopes and hearts for their own gain. And people just suffering, suffering, just wanting to be happy.

It hurts. I watch from the place of someone, who for no reason of deserving or being x y z, was given Daddy. And you guys. Your little faces that are enough to die on a hill for.
But that does not mean it doesn't touch me. It has, from so many sources. It hurts to watch people you love hurt.

It seems the field is littered with dead principles, shards of hearts, broken promises, even aborted marriages, and so so much loneliness. Even some that get married, still lonely, still hurting. And so many, just longing for a shoulder to cry on, just longing for little people and the purpose and joy that they bring.

Marriage isn't about being happy. Marriage isn't about being fulfilled. Marriage isn't about giving you purpose (or kids).
Marriage is about dying, every day, a little more, to yourself. Your husband's greatest job is not to be your comfort, your rock, your provider, your protector, your emotional support, etc (although those are all good things).

Your husband's greatest job is to get you ready for heaven. And your greatest job is to get him ready for heaven. Whatever it takes. Sandpaper or oil. However it turns out. For better or for worse as far as your happiness or emotional fulfillment is concerned. But those are both tools in God's hands, the oil and the sandpaper, all for refining.

There are many many lonely people in marriage. There are many childless people in marriage. There many are disillusioned suffering people in marriage.
But this does not mean that the marriage has failed, that they should go and look to make new marriages, or even new emotional relationships to fill the empty place. It is the sandpaper. It is the fire. It is unhappiness in the bonds of an oath made to God, whose guiding beacon remains the same. Whose purpose remains the same.

But the purpose is the same, in singleness and marriage.

Life is the crucible, the Refiners fire, the preparation for heaven. Its a steep high road, with lots of rocks and pitfalls. Your husband is there, alongside of you, to help you in that climb. You are there, to help him.
Singleness (and note that most of the saints we still talk about were) is climbing that mountain alone, though in both marriage and singleness there are often others that help along the way.

The purpose is to climb that mountain. To suffer, to be tried, refined, and purified. To be made more and more into the image of Jesus, until the day we breath our last, and are able to see Him face to face.

Life is about God. All the other stuff, is just secondary, are just tools, preparing us for Him. Marriage is God's tool. Singleness is God's tool. Joy is God's tool. Suffering is God's tool. Loneliness is one of God's tools.
The loneliness in the single life is very painful. I speak as one who has not suffered this, being a twin and then a wife. But I have witnessed it in many others. It is one of the greatest sufferings.
And I see people who suffer that in marriage. And silently, for to complain or seek emotional closeness somewhere else would be wrong.
But loneliness is God's tool. The old desert fathers recognized this. They embraced it.
"It is not good for the man to be alone"
Its not good. But God can make good come out of it.

And you will never actually be alone. For God is always with you. Closer than your breath.
We were made for God. Not for happiness on this earth, not for a beautiful home and a loving husband, or even a jerky husband and adorable kids, or whatever else we set as the "bare minimum" for what we want in life.

But its not about this life.

We were made for God. To see his face. To get over that mountain, and be remade, for we will see Him as He truly is.

Everything on this earth is tools or interesting rock-formations along the way.

You were made for God. For his face rising over the edge of the mountain and sky. Keep your word. Hold fast to what you know is right.Never take your eyes off him.

                 Love, (your very imperfect and selfish, and needs to read this 10x) Mom

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