In exactly two weeks from tomorrow, at 2pm, I’ll be standing and watching my bride come down the aisle. I’ve learned a couple things while careening headlong into the unknown of marriage and I kind of want to expound on those. This blog is going to be a bit different than my typical style but I think it’s justified.
Changing career paths from a trajectory of working corporately as a petroleum engineer to being a full time missionary taught me nothing if not how capable of a person I am. I’m not talking about being capable of achieving something that the world considers successful, by that standard I’m less impressive on paper since making this transition. I’m talking about taking a dream that’s bigger than logic and still making it work.
Now to be clear, when I use the term “capable”, I’m not talking about self-reliant pride that believes that I can do anything out of myself. I know that everything that I accomplish is part of a co-laboring effort with God. When I say that I’m capable, I’m acknowledging that I have stepped into the place that God needs me to be in to work through me. More on that idea of co-laboring with God, here
The road to marriage has taken that feeling of capability and elevated to an entirely new level. If any of you reading know the story that has landed Lauren and I here then you know that it was against a lot of impossibility; I think that most marriages are. For those of you reading who know nothing about Lauren and I, trust me when I say that it was most definitely against impossible odds. We are capable of making a dream that is bigger than logic a reality. That’s the testimony of our relationship.
There’s this stereotype that comes with marriage that a part of you dies when it happens. Yeah, you gain a life partner, but some of your individuality dies. You lose some independence and autonomy in your life and the amount of freedom you have as an individual reduces. Lauren and I were actually jut having that conversation this morning, ironically enough.
In reality, at least in my experience, the exact opposite is true. All of a sudden I’ve found somebody who is willing to commit a lifetime to getting to know me so well that I get to be more myself than I’ve ever been. I don’t have to worry about how she sees me because I can trust that she’s committed to always seeing the best in me despite the best not always being present.
There’s so much freedom in knowing that somebody approves of you and loves you regardless of what you’re striving for in life.
Now, that all sounds good in writing, but I know that it doesn’t always happen that way; trust me, I’m an optimistic person by nature but I’m also not that naive. I know things aren’t always peaches and cream.
I’ll say it this way: perfect love is always enough to keep us from getting selfish and offended but the reality of marriage (or human nature in general), is that we’re going to have moments of selfishness and offense that override perfect love; but only for a moment. That selfishness and offense won’t stick; if it does, the marriage probably won’t.
So what does all of this mean for me, I know I just made a couple points that are all over the place. So I’m going to conglomerate them all into this:
Heading into marriage has released me into a confidence to be more myself, more independently me, more inspired, more creative, more ambitious with her beside me than I’ve ever been on my own with all of the independence in the world.
That translates into a realization of my capabilities to accomplish things in life. I get to unapologetically believe in and pursue what God is calling me to and never feel like I’m letting somebody down. Even though there’s probably somebody out there that is disappointed by the fact that I’v devoted my life to ministry rather than to being an engineer, I will always have somebody beside me who’s not disappointed, my wife. That person is the one who matters more than anybody else.
And the most beautiful part is that this isn’t just a “representation” of how God feels about me or what I’m doing. This relationship to my (almost) wife and the love and approval that flows from her to me is actually God’s approval and love flowing through her to me. I’m not just getting a nice metaphor of how God loves me through my wife; I’m getting the real deal. God’s physical, tangible, literal love and approval flowing through my wife.
If you have children, chances are that you understand what I’m saying. You don’t just understand God’s relationship to you better because you have kids.; you actually experience more of God through the love you have for your child.
The Kingdom of Heaven is experienced through the relationships that we have with the body. Be it your wife, your children, friends, parents, siblings; you experience the realness of the Kingdom of Heaven through relationship. It’s described perfectly in Acts 2:42-47, the Kingdom of heaven is manifesting and it’s happening because of the relationship that was being cultivated in the body.
If you’re not experiencing an increase in all that God has for you through your marriage, your work, your hobbies, your friendships then something needs to change because they’re not serving their purpose.
Everything we allow into our lives should be channels and catalysts for God’s love to flow through. If there’s things in your life that aren’t, do something about it.
Much love guys, thanks for reading!