Marriage. In my generation it’s a big word. A word that has a ton of meaning. A word that isn’t respected. A word that is shallow to some. A word that is full of commitment, or a word that doesn’t have much because folks want a big party.
I’ve been thinking about this lately. I’ve been thinking about the weight of the word. The weight of the commitment. It’s a heavy one. It’s not light.
Two people. Two sinners. Trying to make a life together.
Two folks who are bound to screw up. A lot.
Two folks who love one another fiercely.
Two folks who are going to try their best.
Two folks who may not try at all.
Two folks who are going to hurt one another like no one else can.
Two folks who are going to live life together, even if they don’t know what that life means when they say, “I do.”
It’s a messy thing. Marriage. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard, but to keep that marriage together in order to parent, seems like the harder thing to do. As we parent our kids hearts, we need to take care of our own. That’s hard. ‘Cause I don’t wanna take care of my heart at the height of my anger and frustration.
Jesus put together something so unique, so delicate and so intricate that He knew that we’d need Him during the whole marriage. We would need Him so fiercely, that we couldn’t make it past the first day, the first week, the first year or the first decade.
A few weeks ago my husband and I watched the movie Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. There was a moment in the movie where Kate Winslet’s ex-husband apologizes to their son. He says, “I’m sorry I left. I couldn’t take the sadness. Things were too sad. Life was too hard. I couldn’t take it, so I left.”
I think that there have been many times where we could have said that. We could say, “We can’t take the sadness. We can’t take life. What it’s thrown at us.” And leave.
We could. But we can’t. We love each other. Jesus put us together. We have three cords braided up tight. Even when it feels loose.
Grace. Grace is it. Jesus’ grace.
There is so much redemption in marriage. Through the tough times, you have someone to lean on. You have someone who knows you better then anyone. They know the ins and outs of you. The best and the worst. They can show you grace. They can be grace to you when you are at your worst. You can be grace to them when they are at their worst. You can laugh with them when life gets tough. That cynical, horrible laugh. No one else will laugh with you, but your spouse will.
Jesus is in this. He’s in this with us. If we’re messing everything else up, He’s giving us grace. Softening our hearts. Healing our souls. Being our rock. Holding us up when nothing else can.
It’s easy, I think, to put our spouse before Jesus. To put them in His place. Our spouses are tangible. Touchable. Talkable. We can see and hear their response quickly, where sometimes with Jesus we’re waiting it out and waiting for Him to talk. It’s easy to lose patience. It’s hard to remember that our spouses aren’t our saviors. That they can’t fulfill all of our wishes. They can’t BE all. They are human and they fail. They fail big. I’ve failed my spouse. He’s failed me. We’re sinners. There’s grace.
The thing about marriage. It’s tough. It’s a commitment. It’s not easy, but there’s grace when there are two sinners holding onto a bunch of Jesus.