“As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Eph. 5:31-33
Wow! Time has certainly gotten away from me this last month! I am thankful for a day off with house all to myself today. It’s funny how I spend my precious time off doing the exact thing I despise- cleaning. However, I cannot find ultimate relaxation unless certain things are in order. As I was getting ready to sweep the front room, I spied my personal mountain of shoes by the front door. I was in the process of sorting them into pairs when the thought occurred to me, “If this was my husband, he would have picked up the pile and just thrown them in front of my closet door.” Which led me to my next thought. “What is it about my collection of shoes that drives him crazy?” Actually, I’m not sure if it’s my collection of shoes, or purses that drives him nuttier. I used to bring a new purse home once every six weeks. He used to call it, “that time of the month.” (Deep sigh, rolling my eyes). BTW, he swears he can hear me roll my eyes in the dark.
But, the quirks go both ways. I am blessed to have married a man who not only knows how to operate the washing machine, but he also folds the clothes that come out of it (except socks?). The problem being, his idea of folding and mine are two very different things. We only have a set amount of space to work with in our dresser drawers. So, the clothes must go in neatly in order to come out neatly. I was refolding my stack of clothes the other day when he commented, ” I remember going through this when we first got married. At least I figured out how to fold the washrags and towels…” Well, sometimes.
David and I met my freshman year of high school. He is 2 1/2 years ahead of me in age. We got married just two months after my high school graduation. To say we have grown up together would be an understatement. When I turned twenty-eight, I began joking with him that we had been together over half of my life. Now, the joke is on me. He is turning 34 this weekend, which makes us officially together for half of HIS life. By all rights, our marriage shouldn’t have made it. We were kids when we said, “I DO”. To be honest, we didn’t even know what “I Do” meant. And to this day, we are still figuring it out. I remember my Dad telling my Mom, “They are getting ready to make the same mistake we made.” I am thankful to him for that comment. At times, it was the only thing that kept me from giving up.
I love how Ephesians refers to marriage as ” A Great Mystery”. It is indeed a mystery how two very different people can become “one” in marriage. The bible calls me, as a woman, to respect my husband, even when he is yelling at the TV because his football team is down in points. The bible calls him to “Love” me, even when I am in the bathroom throwing a fit about Madi using my brand new bottle of Clinique foundation to finger paint. Marriage is about fully accepting your partner, no matter what. And with two unique individuals trying to become one, its bound to get messy sometimes. Okay, I’ll bite- its messy most of the time- especially when kids and clinique are involved.
This year is our lucky 13, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We are coming to a stage where I know exactly what he’s thinking even before it leaves his mouth. A stage where I am allowed to be authentically me without fear or condemnation. I pray my husband can say the same. The great mystery is this. God gives us marriage on earth to demonstrate what our relationship as a church should look like with Christ. Christ loves the church as his bride. The word love in Ephesians 5 is agapao, which translates to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, and to love dearly. And as the Church, we are to respect our Beloved Savior, Jesus. It is not something that we can just give up on, even when times are tough. And sometimes, its tough.
The next time you find your shoes thrown into pile in front of your closet door, remember this, the design for marriage is the same design Christ uses in illustrating his love for the church. How can you unconditionally show love to your spouse? Start today. You won’t regret it.