“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.” – Vincent van Gogh
Twice a year, I lead a premarital class at our church. And twice a year, I say these words to the group:
“If the concept of marriage does not scare you, you don’t understand what you are getting yourself into.”
The vast majority of couples look at me like I’m drooling uncontrollably. They think I’m a pessimist. Their marriage won’t be difficult because they found the right person. Little do they know.
My friend, Mary Maynard, put it this way once. “Marriage is one of the bravest things we ever sign up for. We are committing to let someone into our souls and lives in a way that is totally unique. We are signing up for disclosure of all our foibles, for un-hide-able realness. It is literally stripping naked, body and soul, and asking to be loved. By choosing to marry, we are asking for humility, pain and conflict. As Christians, this is more profound because we enter this relationship really thinking, ‘until death do we part.’ What a huge step of faith! But what joy and benefit it brings as we live out our commitment and live for someone else.”
Marriage, by it’s very nature, is refining. It is two distinctive individuals joining so closely that sparks are inescapable.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
There is no greater application of this verse than marriage. The inevitable conflict produces a greater good. Each individual in the marriage becomes a better person BECAUSE OF THE CONFLICT.
Don’t look for an easy journey. Embrace the hard road because God is using that other person to draw you to himself. And there is no better trajectory than towards the heart of God.