I love going to weddings. There, I said it. But it's true. I have loved going to weddings as long as I can remember. I work with college students and love attending lots of weddings as the students I work with eventually graduate and many get married. They are kind to invite me to attend. I went to a wedding this week and was reminded afresh of the beauty of marriage.
Fleur and I have been married just over 3,800 days since we said "I do" on July 20, 2013. Here are a few of the many lessons I continue to learn along the beautiful journey of married life with Fleur.
1. Marriage is a gift. I know that sound cliché, but 28 years of singleness is not easily forgotten. Every new day of marriage is a divine gift that I never want to take for granted. And marriage keeps getting better. As my dad said the day I married Fleur, “You think you love her now. Just wait ten years and you’ll really love her.” Well, we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary, and dad was right.
2. Marriage is instructive. It has been said that the more you learn, the more you realize you still need to learn. Well, 3,800 days of marriage has taught me that I still have much to learn. Fleur and I are joyfully walking this journey together and learning so much about God, about each other, and about grace. While marriage may magnify the frustrations of fallen humanity, it much more magnifies the graciousness of God.
3. Marriage is not ultimate. But it points to what is ultimate. I knew this in theory before I was married. Marriage books, sermons, and friends made this clear. I believed them. I still believe them and continue to learn this lesson everyday in practice. Marriage is sweeter when it’s about something greater than marriage, namely the glory of God. Satisfaction in God fuels satisfaction in marriage. The glory of God is ultimate, and my marriage is the loudest megaphone I have to proclaim what truly is ultimate.
“As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison)