I really wanted to write this post as soon as we returned from our honeymoon, but now that I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to intentionally think through what I wanted to say here, it seems even more appropriate that I get to write this several months into marriage instead of immediately after.
I like to consider this the “Part 2” to the post I wrote when we got engaged, with all of my heart. Thinking back to a year ago when Jordan got down on one knee, and to four years ago when we first started dating, the Lord has taken us on a journey the whole way through that has brought us face-to-face with our weaknesses time and time again. And if I feel that way after looking back on four years, I know that the many years to come hold even more refinement and sanctification.
Here’s the most important piece of it all, though: being refined, not shamed; being sanctified, not scorned; being loved, not corrected — that is the beauty of marriage lived within the confines of the gospel. I’ve heard a lot of first-hand accounts of marriage from so many different people — and I take them all seriously because these are real people telling real stories — and what I’ve realized is that as much as I look down the road at my marriage and selfishly want for the Lord to give us an “easy” life, being molded and shaped for the good of the gospel is by far the greatest purpose we could live for in our lifetime — a lifetime that is nothing in light of eternity.
Is it easy? No, it’s really not. Jordan and I have found ourselves in a new city, a new home and a new lifestyle that asks us to think more about the other than ourselves — and all of this has its challenges. We’re in the midst of searching for a church community that we can invest in, and after years of going to the same church in the same place, this is a really difficult task. But what gives us hope is that God is the same yesterday, today and forever — no matter the place, no matter the circumstance — and when we’re able to look at this lifetime through the lens of God’s grace instead of our own game plan, our outlook and perspective completely and totally shift.
I admittedly don’t have the tenure to begin throwing pieces of advice into the marriage fountain, but if there’s one thing I am confident of after these first two months of marriage, it’s this: being with someone who you respect and who points you to the gospel is by far the most important decision you could ever make for your marriage. There are times when I am burnt out and tired and all I want to do is, well, nothing. And when that happens, there’s Jordan — asking me to pray with him, engaging in discussion about the gospel, finding new books for us to read about the Christian mission. He’s certainly not perfect, but I think I can get over him not loading the dishwasher the right way when I see that his ultimate mission is set on far greater things.
With all of my heart, for all of my life. I know this sounds like it’s straight out of a romantic comedy (and it probably is), but what an amazing promise when it’s genuine. So there’s your snapshot of marriage from someone who hasn’t done it for long at all — it’s beautiful, and it’s hard. But as we spend this time building the foundation for all of the years to come, there’s one thing I know for sure: it’s rock solid. And for that, all glory be to God.