My wife and I just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary.
Perhaps the greatest challenge to marriage today is the combination of a) the lack of social respect for it and b) the ironically high expectations placed upon it. We’re told by our betters that it’s just a temporary option yet it is supposed to provide uninterrupted happiness and do magical stuff like turning out perfect kids (or accepting all the blame for any “dysfunction” they manifest).
I found this reflection by Shekhar Abnave (reblogged below after my thoughts) helpful, at least in terms of poking the “perfection” myths.
…there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way…
Wow, that’s so on target.
The old “Are we basically good or basically evil?” parlor debate never winds up with a truly Christian answer. We are fallen (rebellious, sinful, evil) creatures who are still loved by our Creator. We are loved. And love isn’t all pretty, romantic stuff, it’s
patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)
In marriage, love isn’t about wrenching our happiness out of our spouses’ souls, it’s about subduing our needy and greedy natures to care for each other,
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21 ESV)
because Christ identified himself as a “groom” awaiting our hand in marriage. And he courts us, not with pricey trinkets and good looks, but hanging on a cross and calling us to join him on the sacrificial path that leads there, and from there to true and unending happiness that only God, not our poor, long suffering human spouse, can provide.
Anyway, go read this, and love your spouse as he or she is, please: