This blog was inspired by a few conversations I've had with some of my single friends. It has been awhile since I was single now, but this is a very relevant topic to so many people. In our small group the other night, my friend cleared her throat and spoke up amidst our married women banter,
It struck a chord with me. One, because in some way she had taken the stories and struggles we had been sharing to be negative. Which was a surprise in a way. Yes, there are struggles, and I know she understands that too. But why do we never share the beautiful, the holy, the reconciled moments as well? To this young lady so full of hope, she looks around her and all she sees is the struggle. It is everywhere. Our culture inundated with the struggle. The struggle to not only remain married but to actually flourish as a married person.
Convicted? Yes. I think we as Christians especially need to build up the image of marriage. Share the beauty, the holy, the reconciled moments. To speak out against a culture who could care less to hear about it after the lacy, white dress and Vogue quality photos, happy fresh faces glinting in the sun, drop off the bottom of our news feed. Who cares about the everyday. The not-so-glamorous anyway?
So why is getting married a good idea? Beyond the dream wedding every little girl imagines planning her whole life, that is.
I once heard someone say that marriage makes you holy. What does it mean to be holy? To be more like God? God has called His people to be holy, as he is Holy; "set apart" and distinctive from our world, belonging to him through our obedience and our lifestyle.That should be the goal of our faith journey.
Do we get married and then wake up and we are holy? I think not. Although, I do think the decision to make a holy vow, setting aside our own desires for the good of your spouse is a great start to a holiness journey.
There is no other relationship where you are so closely bound. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and in other unidentified ways I'm sure, we are bound. When we consciously choose obedience to God in our relationship with our spouse, I believe we become just a little bit more holy. When we choose to be submissive (in a circumstance where it is appropriate) we are becoming a little bit more holy. When we struggle to find the good, but hold on tightly anyway, we are becoming a little bit more holy. When you make those hard choices, like holding your tongue during an argument, you are changing. Your self control is becoming stronger, you are becoming more gentle. You are learning the heart of God.
In a culture that holds little value for self-discipline, for waiting and choosing to work through the hard lessons, its no wonder that marriage is having a hard time holding up for the long haul. We are a people who love to have things fast and our way. It breaks my heart that so many marriages are ending in divorce. Even those standing beside me...and for them I offer no condemnation. I can't begin to understand anyone's relationship, each one unique and full of history and memory. I hope in some way we offer encouragement and a shoulder to cry on.
It's time to highlight the beauty and encourage each other!