Not only is tomorrow my birthday (!!!!!!), but it's also mine and Steven's one month anniversary. Ahh, to be married a month! What a huge accomplishment (heavy sarcasm applied). Or maybe, in today's culture, it is a huge accomplishment.
So far, in my very short stint of marriage, I've learned a few important things. Firstly, husbands are good for killing spiders, reaching those dishes in the top cupboard you have to climb on the counter to get, and eating leftovers. All things I am immensely grateful for. Secondly, I've learned that marriage is an evolution. A never ending process of two beings becoming one.
But wait, Danielle. (This is you speaking, FYI.) Don't the two become "one" on the wedding day?
To answer that question simply, I'd say "yes." It says in Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." But your wedding day is just the beginning. To say that all your selfish, sinful human desire ends here and that you are living every moment unconditionally loving your spouse is simply untrue. We are too selfish for that. We are too human.
I believe for two souls to become completely one they have to unite on three different levels: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. What does that EVEN MEAN!?! In many ways, I'm still learning. But can this phenomenon take place? Certainly. Can it take place with only the husband and wife's efforts? Absolutely not. I doubt there is one successful marriage in which a third party isn't involved. Christ is oftentimes the missing link. Only he can create the durability that weaves these two souls together so tightly no amount of time, circumstance, or suffering can ever break them apart.
Danielle, you've been married one month! How could you possibly know this??
I've seen it. I have seen marriages deteriorate because of selfishness and sin. I have seen a woman suffer due to her husband's obstinate refusal to turn his heart to God. I have seen men carry a burden too great for even the shoulders of an ox to bear because their wives have sought their own pleasures and denied Christ. I see it in the news everyday. In the books I read. I see it plastered on the internet and behind the smiling facade of a stranger's face.
I've seen it and so have you.
Some of you live it...
If marriage were supposed to be easy, God wouldn't have needed to leave us with instructions. "Wives submit to your husbands....Husbands love your wives..." (Read Ephesians 5: 21-33 for the versus in their entirety.)
In the last month, Steven and I have already had a few ups and downs. I've felt unloved, he's felt disrespected. When I use to tongue to break him apart instead of to life him up, I hear it. I hear that third party whisper to my heart. Danielle, respect your husband. And when I feel unloved (usually due to something stupid like a raised toilet lid or dirty socks on the floor), the soft whisper returns. Danielle, I love you. [I] The Lord your God is in your midst, [the] mighty one who will save; [I] will rejoice over you with gladness; [I] will quiet you by [my] love... (Zephaniah 3:17).
I have so much to learn regarding marriage. I know I am not the perfect wife and never will be, but by golly I'm going to start trying!!! Why not strive for perfection? Of course, I can never attain it in this life, but how awesome would that be if I tried? Tried to love Steven with every ounce of my being? Tried to honor him and submit to him daily? Wow! What an amazing marriage we'd be blessed with.
And I suppose that's the third thing I've learned in my short stint of marriage.
It is a blessing.