My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week. Praise God! So thankful for this man the Lord has given me to share life with.
Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed reminiscing of meeting my prince charming. We would meet and fall in love at first sight. Then, he would sweep me in his arms like Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and we would dance our way into happily ever after!!
The valley separating some of my expectations from reality was pretty vast.
After 10 years of experience, I would definitely agree with the popular opinion that a fairytale is a not the best analogy to use to describe married life. There are definitely those times of complete love, desire and happiness – but eventually, the sun will set on the horizon of blissful emotions and darkness will dawn. Trials will come. Feelings will waiver. Marriage will be tested.
I would describe marriage to be more like a marathon. A cooperative partnership in a lifelong race.
Actually, I’ve been doing a awesome study in Philippians, and as I was studying ch 3 this past week I was thinking that marriage is a little bit like the race set before us in becoming more Christ-like.
...but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
~Philippians 3:12-14, 17
Here are the correlations I see:
1. Press on through the resistance
Much like in our race to be more like Christ, there will be times in marriage when we encounter resistance. Times that are painful. Times that hurt. Times that you want to give up. Times that we want to abandon the terms. Times that we would rather forget the covenant we made than do the hard work of staying the course.
We would rather trade in “until death do us part” for “until hard times do us part”…
Until financial burdens do us part
Until sickness do us part
Until unhappiness do us part
Until you stop meeting my needs do us part
These moments of wanting to quit we must press that much more into Him. It takes endurance; it takes courage; it takes humility, patience and forbearance – all which come from the abundance of the strength He provides.
2. Forget what lies behind and reach for what lies ahead
It can be so easy to allow our past to hinder us from reaching for what lies in our future. This applies to life in general, but also in our marriages. We hold grudges. We allow fear and ego cause us to bring up past mistakes and failures in each other – all which keep us from reaching the next mark.
Now, I don’t mean forgetting and ignoring patterns of behavior that is abusive or harmful. That, of course needs to be addressed and dealt with. I’m talking about pulling things out of the past for the purpose of serving selfish motives.
3. Observe others
I am grateful for those married couples who are determined to run their race in a God honoring way. Those who run in a way that my husband and I can observe and imitate.
Those who have battled and conquered the terrain together. Those who have come to understand that they are able to gain more ground when they are willing to sacrifice for the other; willing to assist and carry each other during moments of weakness; willing to consistently encourage and provoke each other. Their stride may not always be in unison and their forms may not look exactly the same, but they’ve figured out how to remain side by side.
It is my hope and prayer that my husband and I will be a couple that others can look to in this way.
I wrote a song for my husband and made a video as a gift for our anniversary. He gave me permission to share with you 🙂
Here it is: