I am no marriage expert. Let’s get that out there first before I write a big ol’ post on marriage. Kev and I celebrated our 9th anniversary back in June and while we have so much still to learn, we’ve also come a long way from when we first got married. I totally laugh now about some of our first “big” fights after we got married. They were shallow, silly and soooo embarssing. It’s been on my heart lately to share a little bit about my thoughts on marriage and how it works for Kev and I. We started off this year a little out of sync. Things were far from bad by any means but we just felt a little disconnected. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly (probably crazy 1st trimester hormones) but I think the daily grind, monotony of life and taking care small children had sort of taken precedent over nurturing the most important relationship in our family… ours. As our anniversary month started nearing, I began praying a lot about our upcoming 9th year together. I wanted to find a verse from the bible to sort of guide us in our marriage for the next year. I started reading in search of this perfect 9th year motto. Nothing seemed to fit at first. There were all the traditional wedding verses and standard marriage ones but then I randomly started reading in Ecclesiastes one night. Not really the book of the bible one would think to find an inspirational verse about marriage, but there on a random Monday night I found it. The Lord just totally laid it out in front of me…
Wow. A wave just totally rushed over me with understanding about what I needed to fix. In a lot of ways, I had stopped seeing us as a team. And not just a team together but also a team with Christ as the center (a cord of three). I think when we lose sight or don’t trust that our spouse wants the best for us in any situation things get really messy. Fights happen at the drop of a hat, tensions rise and our guard is constantly on high. I love this quote from Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage… “Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you, and God in the journey you are taking to his throne.” And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!” Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is dong in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.”
How beautiful is that? I want that. I want to do everything I can to help Kev become the man God has designed him to be. I am a part of his journey and he is part of mine. Together as 3 (God, Kev and I) we are stronger than on our own. I fully trust that Kev and I want the best for each other and that God wants the best for both of us as well. He is not a distant God. He is present, loving and rooting us on to succeed. He just wants us to come to Him.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I believe the purpose of our marriage is not for our own happiness (yes that comes as a bonus for sure — goodness I love that man) but for God to mold us to be more like Him. So this year I am clinging to Ecclesiastes 4:8! Knowing that I have a role to play in this team and that both Kev and I are working in unison to build each other up in every aspect of our life together. I designed the poster (above) and printed it off to hang in our bedroom as a daily reminder. I also made a hand bound journal (stitched with 3 different color pieces of embroidery thread) for Kev as an anniversary gift as well. We decided that to keep us extra close this year we would use it to write notes of encouragement to each other; sweet nothings, doodles, jokes, particular verses that we want to share to each other, etc.. and pass it back and forth from one night stand to the other. When I add something I put it over on his side and when he writes back he puts it on mine. Sure we could speak these things out loud to each other (and we do as well), but there is something extra romantic about seeing the journal back on my night stand with a hand written note from Kev.