Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Glamour of Wedding Vows

Marriage

Happily Ever After
Riding off into the sunset
Bliss
Companionship
Romance

As a young girl the image of what a marriage relationship would look like was formed by our culture- by Hollywood, by marriages I looked up to. It isn't that these dreams of what I would one day experience and live out were 100% wrong, I am married to a great man who I deeply respect. He has been faithful, is an excellent dad to our boys, loved me unconditionally and has weathered ups and downs alongside of me through the years. But I wasn't prepared for how hard marriage is in real-life. Until you are in the thick of it, you really can't grasp the challenges a relationship will face, how life will press in hard on all sides and try to choke the life out of your relationship. Pressures from work, school, taking care of a home, car and yard maintenance, PARENTING, schedules, balancing it all. And the ever present but sometimes far too ignored spiritual battles that go on in a home; there is an enemy who wants to destroy us. It's not easy, and over the years we've had patterns of living more like peaceful roommates than that deeper connection of husband and wife that we dream of. We've had seasons of storms, and deserts. But marriage is GOOD, I know this because God created it. He made for Adam a help-meet, and said Eve was in fact not just good but very good. He created the blessing of intimacy that comes with a marriage relationship, He created us with different needs that when we put the other first can be met. He created marriage to draw us closer to eachother and I truly believe to draw us closer to Him as well. So real-life marriage isn't the same as a Hollywood movie, but it IS such a blessing to live out in real-life.  

To take someone for better or for worse, in sickness and health, richer or poorer, as long as you both shall live seemed almost glamorous when those vows were spoken on our wedding day almost 14 years ago. I'll never forget the actual rawness of our first real "worse" we weathered together- how it almost took the breath out of you how hard those storms can be. The glamour was gone and what was glaring in our face was two selfish people trying to work together as one.  It was about as unnatural as could be! We didn't think the same, we didn't respond or communicate the same, we didn't have the same priorities, or emotions or even expectations.  But we DID have the same foundation- we built our marriage on Jesus, and what has shown itself time and time and time again over the years, is that having that common ground, that solid Rock we are building our life upon IS ENOUGH. And not just enough, but is what really matters. It doesn't make everything easy, but it is what makes it possible. Establishing our marriage, our home, our family on Him has been the best decision we as a couple have ever made and one that we've never regretted.  He is the strength to get us through, He is the wisdom, the balm of forgiveness, the joy that comes. He is the love that is far far greater than any love we could muster up on our own. He is what has made this marriage work. He is our courage, our eternal perspective, our peace in the storm. He gives us Living Water when we are in a desert chapter. As we continue to grow in our faith, we continue to give Him glory in all the ways we can look back over the years and see His faithful hand at work in us. We are thankful! I am humbled and awestruck to see the miracles He has worked! Being married to this man of God is really good!   

So if your marriage is rocky, I encourage you to look at your
I promise to keep
standing firm
foundation and see if it's built on The Rock. If your relationship is feeling a little too suffocating, I challenge you to turn to the one who Breaths in the breath of Life.  If you are feeling restless or discontent, I'm telling you to replace those emotions with thankfulness. Serve a little more, love a little harder, laugh a little longer, pour out more grace, and let the natural mountain tops and valleys be a journey you continue to embark on together. Vows fleshed out aren't nearly as glamorous as when they were spoken on your wedding day, but how incredible it is to get through a time of "worse" and realize you're back in a time of "better" again, having grown through the challenges, and are now stronger. Your foundation never once faltering.  


A wise man builds his house upon a rock and the rains came down and the floods came up but the house on the rock stands firm.

Stand firm.