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"I Do" to More Than You Think

Marriage isn't what I thought it would be. It's wonderful in a number of ways, but there are a million other things that no one prepares you for. Things that no one talks about. I was reminded this weekend that when you're married, you're inextricably linked to your husband, more profoundly than you realize. No one told me that his sin would affect me. That his struggles would become my struggles. No one told me that I wouldn't only be dealing with my fallenness, but also his. No one told me I'd lose sleep or cry in worship or walk through a day zombie-like with a heavy heart . . . as I dealt with his struggle. But when you say "I do" you take it all on--the best and worst of him. And thankfully, he takes on yours as well. There are two of you to multiply the joy of the good times. But there are also two of you to multiply the pain in the hard times. The pain is felt twice: once in your own being, and again as you see the pain weighing down your spouse. Marriage is beautiful and mysterious and double the joy. And it is also hard. Really, really hard. It's hard enough to deal with your own sinful condition, let alone that of another. The 30+ one another passages in the New Testament are commands for a reason. They remind us how we must relate to one another because we are tied together--through good and bad. We are interconnected, all leaning on one another, one person's actions affecting all the rest. We are responsible to one another, and it's this responsibility that makes working on self make any sense at all. I'm reminded today of that deep connectedness, even more mysterious in marriage. And I'm reminded of how desperate we are for Jesus. My heart aches as I see my husband in pain. My soul thirsts for the day when all sin's effects will be banished. My mind wishes for easy answers to give my husband, a hidden escape route no one's seen before. But there is nothing but prayer and love and hope. And with Jesus, that is enough.

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