Since I last wrote on marriage (it’s been awhile!), I have had so many thoughts about it. My husband and I went through Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage book that was adapted as a study for our church. Our community group dove deep into our marriages, and I was reminded of the highs, the lows, the bitters, the down-right-uglies, the embarrassments, the bliss, the time I walked out, the honeymoon, the seminary-as-trial-by-fire days, the sins, the reconciliations, the amazing-graces.
But I wasn’t able to share them with you play-by-play style as I would have liked! At this moment, my son is about to turn 3 and my daughter is 6 months old. So yeah. That’s why.
I asked myself what I would like to share about marriage since it’s been so long, and it can be summed up as this:
Reveal yourself to each other.
You might be thinking I dove off the new age deep end here, or maybe you’re not sure what I mean, or perhaps you think this is self-explanatory. Regardless, I will try to explain. 🙂
One of the cruxes of my marriage is the friendship. I think I’m a little lucky (OK, blessed?) here – I haven’t been in a city long enough nor had the maturity enough to make really great, deep friendships with women. My husband Brad has been my best friend, pretty much since I met him in September of 1999. So I don’t know the struggle that comes with having really close gal friends and also trying to figure out friendship in my marriage. My marriage is a friendship.
Our marriages are supposed to be a picture of the relationships of Jesus and the church, right? How close do you think Jesus wants to be to His bride? Just close enough to check off the to-do list? Close enough to share some memories? Close enough to be bonded by some kids but no more?
No. He wants the church’s complete adoration of Him. He loves and sacrifices His very life for His precious bride.
This is not the just-mutually-beneficial marriage. He wants us, the branch, to be grafted onto Him, the vine. That’s closeness.
You might be convinced that friendship is important in marriage, but your friendship may be lacking. Here are some things to think about:
- Are you hiding any sin from your best friend (aka spouse)? This could be present struggles or past grievances.
- Do you regularly (at least weekly) share your gladness and sadness with them?
- How often do you pray for your partner?
- Are you reaching out to be a part of something they enjoy – something that you do NOT?
- Do you have true joy when you see them excel at or enjoy something, especially if that thing is at a cost to you?
- How many inside jokes do you have?
- How often do you express, in detail, how you are blessed by them?
I could come up with 20 more, but let’s stop there. In order to be friends, you have to open some boxes. The sin box, the dreams box, etc. These vulnerabilities grow your friendship, allowing thoughts to be voiced and sometimes corrected. Making room for sin to die and God’s love for the world to be modeled in your imperfect marriage.