This weekend my husband and I hosted a wedding at our home. It was a beautiful country day. From hay bale seating to wild flowers and a cook-out reception, the day was perfect.
But as I sat watching them take their vows, a sobering thought flooded me, “they have no idea what’s coming.” As memories of my own wedding day overwhelmed me, I remembered feeling my dreams were all coming true that day, November 8, 1997. And there I sat, on October 5, 2013, beside my husband, realizing a whole lot of life has passed us.
In those early days, we fought for our rights. We stood up for ourselves. We screamed to be heard. We both felt stuck, trapped and unloved in a barely sustainable marriage. We were scarred from sexual sin. We endured a mental break down. We fell apart. We were shattered. We were shattered people. We were a shattered couple.
The story of Adam and Eve was replayed in us. We had been safe in our own garden home, in a marriage protected by God. But we entertained the serpent. He tempted. We tasted. And we lived 10 years in our own prison of shame and separation from God.
And then the same promise was spoken to us that redeemed the first marriage so long ago. “I win.” Jesus said, “I win.” (Read Genesis 3:15). Jesus stepped his foot into our marriage and crushed the head of the serpent once again. Instead of saving Adam and Eve, this time he saved us.
We experienced redemption. We are a living resurrection of the dead. Without that, I have no doubt the past six years would have buried us.
As I sat there at the wedding all of these memories flashed before my eyes. Pictures of the past flipped through my head. Snapshots of the life shared between my husband and I took me by storm.
There we were in my mind embarking on a life of ministry. I saw us as we planted a church. We taught the gospel of Jesus. We opened our home to saints and strangers. We were betrayed. We birthed children. We grew a family. We fought to save the church. We fought to save our children. We buried a child. We started adopting another. We baptized another. We face daily challenges. We have lived life hard. And we stand… together.
The fact that we are standing isn’t a testament to how enduring our passion is or how great our communication is. We stand as living stones, a monument erected to testify to just what God is able to do through two people who give it all to him.
And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. 1 Pet. 2:5
If you are struggling in your marriage today the way we were, let me share the message my husband spoke to our church just yesterday.
Be committed. No matter what gets thrown at you dig your feet into the ground and don’t walk away. Your vows weren’t just to your husband. They were to God.
Be forgiving. No matter what gets thrown at you, extend grace.
Be understanding. Your husband is fighting battles and is under attack on a daily basis. Try walking in his shoes for just a moment.
And remember, this is just how God deals with you. God is committed fiercely to you. He forgives every sin and mistake and covers it with his own blood. And he wanted to understand you so much that he left heaven and became a human being just to know you.
Today, begin building your own monument to Jesus. Let your marriage be a testimony to Jesus’ resurrection. Let your life and your marriage be a living stone in the spiritual temple of God.