A devoted wife writes on the anniversary of her 9-year marriage:
“We’ve been in the valleys and we have climbed mountains, crossed rivers and raging torrents, dealt with collapsed bridges and tread some rocky roads. But we have also touched the stars, seen the moon and felt the sun’s warming rays. We love, are loved and are infinitely blessed.”
Marriage seems to be an all-weathers journey intended, in the context of family, to hone our characters in the likeness of Christ.
The depths experienced in marriage resemble weather on earth; the heights resemble the heavenly beings—the sun, moon and stars.
As we consider the imagery cast before us above we can see what an adventure it is, at least as we look back. It’s not always that ‘exciting’ in the midst of those torrents and on those rocky roads. At some points marriage is too exciting to bear! Every married couple surely recognises for all the heights there are the pits too, and more than enough of them.
Recognising the Role of Marriage in Personal Development
Meeting a single friend for lunch recently we again ventured into territory for them that brings unrequited sadness—the want of a partner to share all their life with.
There enfolds the sanctity of marriage. For those who’ve married, singles are very often pleasantly envious.
But singles mightn’t fully recognise the challenges embedded in married life. Even though “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9a), “two” makes for all sorts of perilous ventures because of the complexity involved in two different people living as one flesh.
Marriage is intended not simply for God’s purposes in the procreation of progeny but it’s centrally entwined in God’s purposes for the honing of character in both partners. This is most visible with recount of the meteorology in marriage—growth under all conditions without recourse to rehearsal. Yes, we do all this familial living in ‘live’ time, with plenty of practice for regret, guilt and shame (all which we must find ways to recover from).
How Marriage Makes Us Better – Together
The principle of God’s refining fire is outlined in Hebrews 12:1-13. It details the depths that Jesus went to, and that our depths will not ever be so deep. Because of God’s love for us, we therefore “endure trials for the sake of discipline” (verse 7a) and “later” (verse 11) we discover the meaning in it all.
As we consider now in reflection the myriad emotion that marriage takes us through over the years, we can understand that the discipline couched in ‘wedded bliss’ is for our mutual benefit, and for the family’s; it’s for God’s purposes that we grow suchlike.
To find—as our quote above attests—that “we love, are loved and are infinitely blessed,” in spite of the triumphs and hardships, is a vast sphere of united wisdom.
Marriage, with all its weather, does make us better.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.