When you said, “I do”, did you have any idea what you were saying “I do” to?
Well for me the answer to this question is a no, and I mean a big fat NO! I thought I would start my blogging here because this is where it started for me. In many ways, I should have been somewhat prepared. I was a believer in Jesus Christ, and I was marrying another believer. Johnny was in the ministry (for heavens’ sake). We should have known what to do. Well, unfortunately we did not.
As I think back about on it, did I even think about what my vows meant? I mean really, “Do you take Johnny, for better or worse?” (Should there not be some get-out clause if “worse” is more than you signed on for?) What if they hurt you, break your trust in some way? What about sickness? What if they have a progressive neurological disease, early Alzheimer, cancer, or a mental illness? And finally, richer, or poorer (seriously, what was I thinking, he did not have any money then, he was in the ministry, why did I think he would make some money later?)
When I stood in front of the church that October evening, almost 39 years ago, I was so excited to be marrying Johnny. I was giddy. I said my vows, I pledged to do those things, but WOW – who knew how hard it might be. I say all of this because I could never have imagined, what my marriage journey, my “better or worse” would look like.
But the truth is no one does. No one gets a sneak preview. So, what do you do when you realize your vows may cost you more than you imagined?
I think the place we must start is understanding
the “Why” of our marriage.
God spent a lot of years teaching me this key principle. For believers, God is going to probably do more of His sanctifying work in you through your marriage, than most anything else. Our marriages are the most intimate human relationship we will ever have. It reveals what is true about us. Things I can hide from others, Johnny will see. Nothing gets hidden. My sins, my flaws are so evident and so are his.
It is like holding up a BIG magnifying mirror. (Those mirrors should be illegal) They are painful. They show it all. For me, I had to learn that God, was using the hard parts of our marriage, my frustration with Johnny, my unrealistic expectations, to show me that only God could meet the deepest needs of my heart. God is the only one, that will love me perfectly. I had to learn to be satisfied in Him. I had to understand that one of God’s purposes in marriage, is to do an eternal work in me. Marriage is about more than my immediate needs, my happiness, and satisfaction. God has a larger more holy purpose. Marriage is a high calling. If I understand this, then it helps me have the long view. It helps not throw in the towel, when it is hard, (when we are experiencing some of the “worse”).
My prayer is that God will give us eyes, to see the work he is doing.
~Carla Morton ~