It seems like we live in a society that has nearly completely ceased to believe in marriage. I was not the least surprised to see the crazy looks that I got when I told various people at work and school that I was getting married last year. The widespread impact of the sexual revolution of the past few decades has largely forced out the acceptance of the idea of unconditional, lifelong commitment to one individual.
After all, why would you commit to someone in this way? You never know who they might become tomorrow. What if you wake up one morning and find that the person that you thought was so perfect is actually full of flaws and imperfections? With our consumer mentality, we want a person who will fit us and won’t challenge or stretch us too much.
But these assumptions reveal a deeply inaccurate perspective of both ourselves, and the people around us. The reality is, that we are all deeply flawed. We all have major weaknesses and pitfalls. We all need a lot of work.
To some people this is a depressing reminder. How can we bear living with flawed people and expect it to be an easy and joyful life?
Within this atmosphere of marital negativism, it has been really challenging and refreshing for me to continually reevaluate my perspective, and grow in a deeper and deeper understanding of the principles which the Gospel sets out for life.
As a follower of Jesus, my life is defined by a constant journey of knowing him more, and learning to live a life principled after all that he is and what he has done. The greatest joy and blessing of my entire life, aside from getting to know him, has been the fact that I got to marry a beautiful girl who is also my best friend on this amazing journey of knowing Christ.
Indeed we are far from perfect, and we both have our selfishness. However, our marriage is not defined by how much we can fulfill each others desires. The biblical narrative paints a much more powerful purpose to this relationship than our surrounding culture: Christ centered companionship.
Because of the fact that our relationship exists to support each other in our growth in the Gospel, our marriage becomes a perfect context in which we can expose our weakness and grow out of them.
No other relationship in life offers such unconditional security and support. Rather than hide my flaws and put on a good face, my wife’s love motivates me to deal with my weaknesses at their most foundational level. Rather than our marriage being hindered by our selfishness, it exists to eradicate it, and to make me a more visible representation of Jesus in this world.
If I try to live life and ignore my weaknesses, I live in an illusion and allow my flaws to grow and develop without any hinderance. However, the more I am faced with the power of my wife’s Gospel centered love and companionship, the more I soak in every coming day, anticipating the challenges and the change that it will work in me.