Susan and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary. I am among all men most blessed to have someone like Susan as my beautiful bride. She is the more than I could have ever imagined, or as Matt Chandler likes to say, I out punted my coverage.
I had previously posted about marriage last January when we were only three weeks in. I can honestly say though it was good then it has gotten even better, deeper, and more genuine.
Most people said the first year would be horrible so we didn’t have the highest expectations going in. We were happily surprised that this was not the case, and though by the good Lord’s grace it has been anything but that, I see how it could be that way. Place two desperate sinners of different genders in the same house and it is not going to be sunshine everyday.
I asked a friend of mine who had just had just celebrated his first year of marriage how the first year was. His answer was “Sanctifying”. Maybe it was too early on for me to practically grasp what he meant by that.
The hardest part of marriage has been how much my own selfishness has been vividly manifest. I have always been selfish but marriage put a mirror in front of me that I could not ignore. Of course selfishness being only one of the many revealed vices. Marriage is sanctifying because it forces me to deal with that which causes not only my wife to grieve, but also the Holy Spirit.
From Scripture we are taught that marriage must be portrait of the Gospel (Ephesians 5:32). How I love my wife should point to how Christ loves the church. Christ gives the perfect example how to love perfectly with no reservations. Love is more than feelings. It is a covenant that calls us to be more like Christ, love like Christ, die like Christ. O, how I fall short of this!
The Gospel becomes not only my motivation for how I should love my wife, but it is also the means by which I will love my wife. God loves me without condition and calls me to do the same and by the power of the Holy Spirit he empowers me able to love well.
I could not be happier with my life with Susan. It is wonderful and beautiful in every way. Convincing her to marry me has been and always will be my greatest accomplishment. I am, however, realizing more and more that marriage is not about me or about my happiness. It is the Gospel lived out for those to see. It is a portrait of grace, forgiveness, and charity.
One year has been amazing and I am confident it will only get better. Yet, even if we face hardships, I pray that the Gospel will always be our goal and our means. Though it doesn’t always look like it should, we must continue to behold His glory so that we can transform more into his likeness. Only by His grace have we gotten this far and by grace we will endure in the joy that is set before us.
I will leave you with this money quote from my boy Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“It’s not your love that will sustain your marriage but your marriage that will sustain your love.”
I love you Susan. Happy Anniversary