This was just one of the many pithy quotes by Pastor Benjamin during GenRev service last week. I was pondering it for quite a while because, well, now’s the time to consider marriage as the next step in my relationship. It’s not been easy for me to consider long-term commitments in love. I don’t believe in “The One”, but rather, in multiple “ones,” one of whom could possibly become my life partner. With this possibility comes doubt – how do you know the one you’re with now will be the one to weather the storms of life with you? These sorts of questions make me reluctant to agree to settle down even though my relationship is going well at the moment.
I was glad to hear the married couples at GenRev telling us that on their wedding day they weren’t fully sure they had made the right choice. But is there really a right choice? Barring the obvious red flags, I’m assuming that your (and my) potential life partner is a decent person. But that doesn’t guarantee anything. Two decent people can get together, have kids, and still have a nasty break up. Marriage is a risk, like all other things in life.
I must sound like I feel very negatively about marriage, but I really think that it’s a beautiful thing. It’s beautiful because it’s a union of love (I hope) that transcends the love between two people. Marriage reflects God’s love for humankind, with Jesus as the bridegroom and the church as the bride. Our human marriages are part of that larger love story. But like all human things, the love within marriage is also subject to our imperfections. If I were to place my faith in my partner, I would be setting myself up for a huge disappointment, and so would he. Only one person will never fail us, and He’s Jesus Christ, the third party every relationship needs. One verse that constantly resonates with me is
He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:17)
By this I know that He holds us together in the palm of His hand, and He will sustain my future marriage with His eternal love. When I don’t feel loving, His love will fill me and overflow to bless my partner. When I feel tired, He will beckon me to come and rest under His wings. When we have an argument, He will show us the most loving and honest way to resolve it. I’m only just beginning to understand the amazing ways in which He works in my life, especially in my relationship with my partner. My past relationships have been very different and much less satisfying because I didn’t invite Him in. But I’ve entrusted this one to Him, and He is showing me how much better it is when we both let Him carry us through the highs and lows of love. There are a lot more things to learn and explore on this journey, but hey dear I know you’re reading this, and I’m glad we’re in this together. May we keep seeking God together in our lives both together and apart, and may we keep enjoying His love for us!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)