“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.” Ecclesiastes 4:9,10
Marriage is hard. You know what else it is? A refuge. A place where you can be yourself, fully and completely, bare and vulnerable, free and forgiven…imperfect. However, it can only become a refuge if we push through the hard parts, the messy parts, the almost-giving-up parts.
This week I have been inspired by three things that have encouraged me and motivated me to press on when marriage is hard. Here they are:
Marie Barlow Martin and Gordy Martin, a couple who minister by their gifts of music. I saw them in concert this week and was moved by their story. The main highlight for me that was inspiring was how Marie left a very successful musical theatre career in NYC to become the wife of Gordy and move to Lancaster, PA (Amish land). She didn’t hold on to her rights or her Independence. She was counter-cultural. Now God uses them all over the world to share the love of God and the “oneness” of marriage.
The second thing that inspired me was a commencement speech given by Laura from 10 Million Miles. Read this excerpt for yourself:
“Despite these trends, I bring you a message of hope: God intends for us to love, He intends for us to be in the mess of relationships, He intends for us to stay and to make peace when things get tough. He intends for us to build homes and to love our families. It is possible to sacrifice some achievements and some experiences in order to build a home. It is possible to look back on your losses without regret. It is possible…
As you build your home you, too, must surrender pride, whimsy, and selfishness.
Perhaps the most significant thing you will sacrifice is the spirit of independence which is destroying women. There is no room for the independent spirit in a woman’s life: we simply cannot love a man, children, or others well if we are entangled in this popular mentality that we are the center of the universe and we should have everything our way and we should be able to accomplish everything we desire and we shouldn’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves.
If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.
In the world’s eyes, you will be sacrificing so much, but in God’s eyes, you will be the lifeblood of His next generation, a generation who will praise His name.”
You can read the whole amazing commencement speech here.
The third thing, my marriage. My husband and I have only been married for five and a half years, but we’ve weathered some storms. I love him, and because we have committed ourselves to one another for life, taking very seriously our vows (in good times and bad), we have been able to push through some hard stuff and find a refuge in each other. We have fun together! We are vulnerable and real with each other. He knows me better than anyone, and I know him better than anyone. He accepts me with all my annoyances (I seriously have a nose-picking problem!) and I accept him.
Marriage is hard, but it one of the most rewarding and worthwhile pursuits God has blessed us with.