Wednesday, October 31, 2018

More Thoughts on Marriage

Thinking about what marriage is.

God knew from the start what a marriage would be. And He still guided people to get married when he knew there would be deep betrayal. The marriage does not retroactively become a 'mistake'. None of it was wasted. He has not forgotten, not overlooked, not neglected, not been sloppy.
God promised “I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you”
It is, was, and will be, true.

Maybe God's purpose for us marrying someone, wasn't as happy as we thought. Maybe it was to carry a cross of horrible illness with someone, watching dementia claim their mind, or to spend the next 40 years caring for a blind bomb-shredded limbless brain-damaged hero-husband who marched off young, strong, and intelligent, to war. Or carry the cross of shame of imprisonment with someone, visiting them in their prison. Or to fight for someone's soul—even if prayer is all we can do as we wait—and they run off in self-destruction.

God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, his ways than our ways.

In the end, none of it will have been wasted. God holds our hand, bottles every tear, hears every prayer. What He knew our marriage would be on our wedding day, may not have been as happy and wonderful as we had thought—but He will make it beautiful, far more beautiful than we can imagine this side of the Jordan. Because He will be with us every step, every second, every moment, holding our hand, giving us strength.

And He never wastes anything.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Marriage---What Is It?

Marriage---what are we signing up for?
Is marriage about rights----love me/be faithful to me/have a godly home/provide for me, or is it more like a binding oath to a kind of “war buddy”, that lasts as long as you are alive, to help the other person be sanctified, become more like Christ, enter the new Jerusalem---no matter what happens?

We get married expecting it means children, buying a home, retiring together, studying Bible together, reading stories together, going on family camping trips, kissing etc, and being old people going on daily walks together with an umbrella.
I know that is what I expected.

But there are lots of wonderful people I know/know of, whose lives didn't turn out that way.

Because there are lots of other things we don't expect. We don't expect our smart, emotionally supportive, fun-to-talk-to husband to go through a brain trauma that renders him a needy child. Or a freak accident to a 27 yr old man at work that renders the marriage a chaste one for the next 40 years. Or to be young, and suddenly, widowed and alone, raising kids without their father.

God knew on our wedding day what we were signing up for. We did not. We can't know. But He knew all along. He knew from the first date. And He holds us. “I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you” (Isaiah 42:16)

We don't get married expecting to have to turn our husband/wife into the law, and visit him in jail the rest of our lives. Or visit him on death row. Or every day raising the kids alone, and each day, faithfully praying for someone who has abandoned you for another(s).

But is that what is being asked of us? To not stand on our rights, but to carry the cross?

Parenting, what are we signing up for? If your kid did the unspeakable things, would you still love them? Would you cut ties and find another kid? Or would you visit them on death row, praying for them every day?

What is being asked of us?

I think that is at the crux of what so much of this argument about marriage comes down to. What do we see it as? What is it?