I, for one, didn’t really care much about marriage when I was younger. I came from a divorced home, feeling separated from my father before I could even form a full memory of his face.
I watched both parents remarry and felt the pain and anger rage inside of me at the age of six, in knowing that despite my fantasy, my parents would never reunite.
I saw my parents new marriages be nothing like anything I ever wanted for myself–so much work, so much effort, so much sacrifice.
By the time I was 16, I was convinced that marriage and I didn’t mix. I wanted to roam free, be free, feel free. I didn’t need a man. I didn’t need a piece of paper to tell me that I loved someone. I was enough and that was enough.
And then that persistent Savior of mine grabbed my heart hard and fast and before I could catch my breath in order to scream out “No!” I was reconsidering what it meant to say “I do.”
Because here it was, I had for so long said that I didn’t. I didn’t need a man. I didn’t need anyone. I was enough. And yet, Jesus knew there was no truth in that and instead He showed me just how much I needed.
I did need a man. Jesus.
I did say “I do,” and I said it to Him.
And without saying a word, He changed my mind.
I watched my own presumptions about marriage wither and lose life. The notions I once held about being free, were made so suddenly clear to me. Those notions had nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with no one.
And I sit in awe of the gift of marriage God gave to me–my proof that Jesus loves me.
I wonder at the goodness of God and just how painfully undeserving I am.
And marriage is dying.
Marriage is slipping into the category of a human right and not a spiritual covenant…
…and my heart breaks.
Not because of my politics on the issue or because I have landed upon some high and mighty theological mountain top, but because I know what’s at stake.
The loveliness, holiness, wretched beauty, and glorifying nature of marriage…
It is indescribable and yet fully knowable.
In all of the discussion over who should be married, who is allowed to be married, and what marriage is in the first place, no one is talking about that which rests right in front of us…
The very picture of marriage. Jesus and His Body.
No one is describing the mystery of this intertwining. No one is painting a vision of Christ’s true love.
But we have all seen it. We have all witnessed, often in wonder and amazement, the glimpses of this mystery. We have seen couples married 40 years who hold hands and laugh, whose smiles for one another are as pure and as lovely.
We have all seen two people exchange vows before God and man and felt that something mysterious is taking place–something supernatural has just occurred. “Two shall become one….”
We have seen that which Satan should have destroyed through adultery, pornography, or abuse be literally resurrected because He is present and Has given us power over death.
We have seen the way in which this mystery shapes us, grows us, refines us, and yet preserves us.
This metaphor for Christ and His church, cloaked in the form of a gift, dying from our hesitation to share what we’ve seen, what we know…
That this mystery is just that and is all together beautiful.