The very idea of marriage never ceases to amaze me. That God would fashion two hearts towards one another in a way that they commune more deeply than all other beings on Earth is amazing. I find beautiful correlation between such a divine union and God’s election of his people.
“But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” – 1 Corinthians 8:3
Considering the level of “knowing” that exists between Josh and me, it is obvious that it is deeper than knowledge. God has enlightened both of us to see Him in each other’s hearts and for this, deep wells of love passion reside. In light election, God drew us both to himself first and then to each other in Him. Daily notice of each other’s differences, conjoined habits, learning from one another how to demonstrate grace…all of these things do not terminate on just making a marriage “work.” They travel out of time (which in itself is unspeakable to understand) and find themselves within a triune collaboration with one aim: to glorify the Son in pointing to the Father. Such unity has been shadowed in marriage. Only we “know” each other in such a way.
I love the initiation in the verse above. It underlines how we are unable to love God unless we are known by God- we act that is from Him, to Him, and through Him alone. Even on a basic level, I understand in that I could not love Josh without knowing Josh. The fascinate point about this is that what I know about Josh most is Christ and it was through God alone that such salvation came.
I believe that one of my favorite excerpts on marriage would have to be from John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage:
“Very soon the shadow will give way to Reality. The partial will pass into the Perfect. The foretaste will lead to the Banquet. The troubled path will end in Paradise. A hundred candle-lit evenings will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lam. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life. Christ will be all and in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete.”
My tears stained the pages as I first read this. To know in my heart that this marriage, Josh and Melissa, will one day be no more but instead the very image that God has been painting through us will be made manifest in Christ. THAT is my joy. THAT is my hope. THAT is why I find much worship in being one flesh with my dear husband.
We are currently reading through Paul Tripp’s book What Did You Expect? again, and we are reminded of our sinfulness and thankfulness for such election. Tripp underlines how the small moments, the laying of bricks that we do not instantly attribute importance to, matter. It is take a lifetime to learn everything about how my quite intricate husband operates, but I look forward to it. Just as we will never “arrive” as believers still sinning in a broken world, our marriage will forever be under construction. Josh explained it best to me when we first got married and I was struggling with being able to maintain habits that used to come so easily to me- he told me that it’s like learning to walk again except our two legs are tied together. It is not easy, but we will have each other through it, and God “who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11b) has not given us a race that we will not run without Him.
I end with love letter from a 19-year-old Jonathan Edwards to his lovely Sarah:
“They say there is a young lady in [New Haven” who is beloved of that great Being who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him-that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised up out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love and delight forever…She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular purity in her affections; is most just and conscientious in all her conduct; and you could not persuade her to do anything wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after this great God has manifested himself to her mind…She loves to be alone, walking in the fields and groves, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her.”
May such adoration and love for God reign in my heart!