My husband is such an example of love to me. He loves and he loves well.
We are taught in the Bible that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Christ was a servant. He washed feet, he loved the unlovely, he spent time with people. Christ gave his very life for love.
My husband mirrors this and points my heart to a greater love.
Maybe I should back up a little bit. Pour a little foundation.
We were 19 when we married, jumping in head first into something bigger than we could have ever known or dreamed of.
Did you know that God designed marriage? When we were preparing to marry, I remember being told this. And I nodded my head in youthful naivety. Yep, it's sacred, got it, let's go.
I've learned over time, experience, and actually listening that God, out of love for us, designed marriage to be a sort of picture of his relationship with us. It is a gift. It is a covenant, a holy sacred promise. Never meant to be taken casually during any step, any stage, any moment.
It is my whole hearted belief that when God formed me, he formed me with my husband in mind. He formed my hand to fit perfectly in his. He formed my forehead to fit perfectly in the curve of my husband's neck. He formed my body to please my husband. He created me with strengths and weaknesses that would compliment and exist with my husband's. He made me for this man and this man for me.
Now I'm not naïve enough to think that every man is a great husband, or even that my own husband is a model of husbanding perfection. Nor does every woman know how to be a great wife, fully living out every good and wonderful thing that marriage intends. I'm certainly not, but I have learned. And my husband is patient. And God is merciful.
A strong, healthy, loving, wonderful marriage is first and foremost grounded with God. He is the blueprint, the foundation, the cornerstone, and the nails that hold it all together. A marriage is meant to be a picture of God, pointing others to Him by the very breath that it breathes.
It is my great desire that the marriage that my husband and I have, the one we tend to, labor over, nurture, and display is an accurate depiction of our Lord.
In our 16 and a 1/2 years of marriage we've experienced a lot together. We've been at the peak of harmony and joy and we've trudged some mighty dark valleys. But it's this beautiful journey that we walk hand in hand, and every year that goes by it becomes more beautiful, more precious.
It is so precious, in fact, that I really just want to let others know, it's possible. Harmony is possible. A deep, passionate, larger than life love is possible. It is possible to have your heart drawn closer to God by your marriage. It is possible to shine a light with your marriage that will reveal the glory of God to others. Not by some magical 12 step formula but by a continual, purposeful walk, step by step, following God's leading, and yielding your own selfish thoughts and will.
Maybe in my writing this week I will be able to convey some of what I've learned, if not for the benefit of anyone else, just to remind myself.