Saturday, July 30, 2011

the gift of grace... [thoughts on marriage]

We've been going and going around here, so it was great to take a break with each other last week.

It's a sweet gift to get to enjoy the company of another like this...

Whenever anyone asks, I am quick to declare the sweetness of marriage (especially with someone who is humble & kind like my guy!) -but there is a super hard part... Chip Judd described it during our wedding service (which I was recently reminded of when we snuggled up and watched the video of our ceremony the other night).

I'm going to go ahead and quote the part because he was kind enough to give us his words in writing...
The best metaphor I have come up with for marriage is a mirror. The only way we truly get to know ourselves is through interaction with others, the closer, the more consistent --the better. 
No relationship brings us closer more consistently than marriage. Within a marriage you are able to see yourself more accurately for who you really are than in any other relationship. 
When God says in Genesis 2 that Adam & Eve were "both naked but they felt no shame," He was stating a fact and a standard. The fact is inevitable --you will see each other without clothes or covering. The standard --"they felt no shame"-- is not automatic or inevitable. 
One of the greatest goals toward which your marriage can strive is to create an oasis of acceptance for your beloved. One place on earth that is always safe to return to. One place on earth where you are fully known but fully loved....
I just love those words...

Of course as any of us do life together closely, the friction rubs.. But sometimes, for me at least, the hard part of that friction is not the other, but the me-part. When I am ugly, crabby, or downright slothful, I don't want to be seen or known. When the other still loves and gives me undeserved kindess, the friction burns, I can't accept it. I want to run & hide.

I recently wrote in my 1000 Gifts journal a thanks for "vulnerability with J.. How I long for it, give it, cringe, & realize his constant love again & again!" This is my hard, beautiful cycle.

Thank God he loves us like he does- and that he uses the sweet love of others to make us realize the reality of that love- at our best, and especially at our worst! Thank God for loving husbands and parents and guardians. Thank God for Jesus- I can't imagine having to earn or deserve his love. What a sad, hopeless story that would be. I pray you're blessed with the sweet love of caring friends & family- and that you're able to bless others in this way- by loving them all the way -deserving or not!

[[My goal here is not to put myself down- but it's somehow beneficial for me to realize that the hard part of loving for me is not so much loving the others' hard places, but letting then love me through mine..

I think even spiritually I hit the same road block: I don't expect God to bless me here or there, as I clearly don't deserve it.. And when he blesses me anyway, I am reminded it's not about deserving his love -or earning it- but that it's a gift to be received!]]

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