This picture was taken right after praying in a quiet hotel room. All week we had gotten high-fives and fist-pumps while we were out and about celebrating our anniversary. Why? Because in our world, six years is a long time to make it in marriage. We fist-pumped right back, but we also ached inside. What has our world turned marriage into?
A casual affair. It has become consumeristic, much like the rest of our lives.
And we have felt the attacks just like the rest of you. My Michael makes me laugh, gives over and abundantly more of himself to his family and is a man after God’s own heart. But no matter what angle you look at it — marriage is hard — and as the years pass by, we are making our strong place, a prayer place. It is the only way.
Now we are facing what the world has coined the “seven year itch” (and that term – could it be worse? Oh America, seek help please). As we enter in, let me tell you what I know: Michael and I have fought more this year than every before. We have faced more difficulties. We have had to walk through deeper waters. God has called us out further than we have ever expected to be called out and there have been nights staring at each other’s faces wondering how to form another sentence.
And some nights we don’t. Some nights we say, “I love you” and turn to opposite sides of the bed and sigh. These are the hard nights. But we will make it. Our marriage is not going down without the fight of our life.
And if you really want to know why I am still fist-pumping through this year — its because I see all of our hard places as our growth places. One of my greatest fears in life is that I will remain complacent. That I will stop learning, that my love will become stale, that my life will lose its spark. Not just in my marriage, but in every area of my life. So, we are walking in with arms locked, eyes fixed on God and hearts bond by the Binder. It will be the only way. This is war and we are ready to battle.
With any battle, there is a strategy. Thankfully God gave us each one — and He chose to actually display it with His very life.
We will never understand our covenant love with our men until we understand the covenant love we have in Heaven. And even then it’s a mystery. Paul said it, “Therefore a man shall leave His father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32
God sacrificed everything to have me. And the same goes for you. He sacrificed all so that He could be your all. Today, Christ still has a covenant relationship with the church. This means that there is nothing – NOT ONE THING – that can separate you from Christ if you are sealed in Him. Don’t you need to know that? I do. I need to know that.
Sadly, we see marriage entirely different than this mystery. There are times that I feel like I hurt Michael too badly, we argued too much, we have hit too big of a wall. I know the nights of falling asleep wondering if we are just too different or if we will ever see eye to eye. These feelings are real. But then I remember the covenant – the beautiful mysterious covenant.
So, what do we do with a mystery so profound? Keep it a mystery. No marriage book will ever be able to keep you from divorcing, arguing or maintaining a somewhat healthy marriage. But one mystery will. Knowing God. And if your husband isn’t on the same page as you – if He isn’t sacrificing for you – do this: FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. Remember His sacrifice for you. Dance in that place. And let your husband wonder why you are dancing.
Your turn: How do you keep fighting for your marriage?