The past year has brought many changes into my life. These changes have ranged from joyous to revelatory. Above all the other changes is the tremendous blessing of marriage. Allow me to clarify from the beginning that I do not presume, after six months of being married, to offer any advice; however, I can offer reflections.
First and foremost, marriage has been a wonderful paradox. It has exposed my weaknesses, tenderness, callousness, depravity, and potential. The reality of my identity is like the fierce Smaug (the dragon from The Hobbit), but by sovereign grace more-so like Eustace (the dragon from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) with layers of selfishness being shed by the providence of a covenant companion. As our lives merge, I become more aware of my selfishness and more prepared to deal with it. This is a God-given gift that should result in repentance and sanctification.
Second, marriage has expanded my practical outlook. When I was single, decisions were typically personal and short term. Whether I volunteered, saved money, ate healthy, exercised, and budgeted was all at my discretion with little thought for anyone else or the future. However, my outlook after marriage has to encompass more than myself and beyond today. Spiritually, you must submit to the will of God as revealed in scripture and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, but practically, you must consider the well being of your spouse and your future together in every area of life. In fact, such consideration is spiritual.
Third, vulnerability is a sanctifying force and difficult to embrace. To place your weaknesses front and center is not easy, and pulling back the curtains of your personal facade is frightening. Admitting your limitations and worst qualities is daunting to the point of emotional and relational paralysis. But, the shadows of depravity double as flickers of grace if we step into the light beyond darkness’ edge. Marriage is a providential means of taking that step.
What do these reflections imply? The implications are vast, countercultural, and glorious. Marriage is designed and defined by God. It offers the pleasing aroma of paradox, the contemplative touch of practicality, and the bittersweet taste of vulnerability.