We have attended a couple weddings in the last couple of months which has brought about reflections on our own marriage. What would I have liked to know before I spoke my contractual 'I do' to intertwine my God with my husband until death do us part.
Would I have gotten married had I known the depths to which we would struggle? If I had known that my husband would have baggage brought into our marriage that would affect us years down the road? If I had known that my baggage would be brought in and uncovered for the ugliness it was?
Before and for most of our now 12 years of marriage, I had never known the depths of depravity in my own life, the life of my husband, the realization that my own kids are just as depraved, that my marriage had been wrought with sin, and I was in a marriage where we had professed love not realizing it was entirely conditional.
But had I known the other side of the darkness, what comes forth into light after the darkness, I would choose marriage and I would willingly go through it all again to know what's on the other side.
To know that I can be real with my spouse and he will still love me. To know that I have learned what God desires when He asks us to live a repentant life. To willingly apologize to my husband and he to me when needed. To set boundaries with my spouse, toward him and toward others, and know that they will be respected. To have a real true love blossom out of the darkness that our past holds.
To know my life is first and foremost in God's hands, that I am His, and I seek to give Him all glory in my life now. To know my identity of worth is safely within my personal relationship with Jesus Christ; it is not based on my husbands' relationship with Him, nor am I responsible for his.
That is intimacy. That is the glue that will hold us together for the next battles we may face. But they will be battles we face together.
We now have a unity in spirit and truth that we were lacking. Our marriage now has the foundational truths it was lacking. Our separate relationships with God are rooted in Him as our true foundation.
So what would I say to someone getting married; what would be my advice to them?
I would encourage them both to truly seek to live repentant lives, both as individuals in their separate relationship to Christ but also together in marriage toward each other. Truly. Repentance involving not just an apology but a TRUE turning from sin. When sin from your past is brought into a marriage, it needs to be dealt with, worked through, and repented of. This includes a hatred, absolute hatred of all sin. We need to view our sin as our holy and perfect God sees sin. It is ugly, vile, disgusting. We must turn away from it if we are calling ourselves Christians. God gives us the ability of self-discipline. It is ours to choose whether or not we enact and strengthen our power over sin or give in to worldly pleasures.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.He brings about healing. He brings about unity in marriage. He makes all things possible. He will be the sustainer of you should you choose to live a repentant life.
~2 Timothy 1:7
So I ask you to pray over your marriage. Yourself. And your spouse.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.Walk with the Lord by leading a life filled with repentance. In doing so, you will bring glory to His name. And that is the best advice I can give to newlyweds.