The One Question that Defines your Marriage and Tells your Future

wedding

A single, simple but profound question passed my mind the other day:

“What’s the purpose of marriage?”

I asked this question while reflecting on the the deep heartache, brokenness, and loneliness that appears rampant (and silent) in marriages. The type of relationship where it’s not that you hate each other, but you don’t feel fire either, the joyful pictures on social media masking the pain and suffering inside a house of roommates. It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking that we’ve come so far from the altar where we committed our lives to each other. What’s the meaning of this? Where do we go from here?

The marriage night behind us, the ring on the finger, we’ve slowly shifted our affections from the pursuit of our beloved to our own desires. We’ve started to sleep with our list of failures and hurts instead of in the arms of our love. We’ve set our eyes on our own goals, dreams, ambitions, expectations, and placed them on the shelf to stare at. We’ve fatefully held our spouse, this person fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image, to an impossibly high standard of perfection and waited for the moment they fail.

adult-alone-anxious-568027We’ve forgotten our own sin, our own unfaithfulness, our own wandering, and how in our sin and hardened heart, the Lord still chose us. We forgot that we are two imperfect beings, made perfect by the blood of our Lord. We are two beings prone toward ambition, pride, control, jealously, greed, creating our life in “our image” and yet we’ve been unified in the covenant of marriage, two that became one, set apart to love one another, serve one another, and be a reflection of the gospel, a reflection of Christ and his Bride.

Over time, we’ve turned our marriage covenant into a marriage contract.

IF I am happy, then we will remain married. IF you make me happy, you are deserving of my heart.

Is that your definition and purpose for marriage? Happiness?

And what IS happiness? What have you filled this blank with “If only I get ________ then I will be happy. If only he does ________ then I would be happy.” Happiness is fleeting. Your definition of happiness changes with the season. Health comes and goes. Mental wellness comes and goes. Beauty comes and goes. Jobs come and go. Fertility comes and goes. Children come into your home and leave. Prosperity blesses us and fades. He gives and takes away . . .

When we build our marriage on these fleeting moments and things, and define our love by these grounds, we are bound to fail.

We set our spouse up for failure, and we set our minds on an idol, some picturesque Disney perfection that was never meant to be. In these hard, defining moments “happiness” is not what carries us into patience and mercy, forgiveness and grace, bearing each other’s burdens. Happiness is not the force that drives us to love harder, to serve when we aren’t being served, to listen when we aren’t being listened to, to pursue when the other no longer has the energy to return this affection.

While happiness IS a worthy goal, it is not THE purpose. When I further reflected on the question, further reflected on who I am in Christ, and His pursuit of His Bride, this is what came to mind:

10171289_2239024742052_1638737377_nThis spouse of mine, is my brother-in-Christ. First and foremost my purpose in this marriage is to lead him toward Christ, not to create myself as his savior, as his happiness, or as his answer. I am not. I cannot provide that. And neither should I look to him as the provider of such things. My JOY and my PURPOSE is to see Tucker as the Lord views him, to serve him faithfully, to confess my sins, to be sanctified little-by-little, to walk this path with him, to bear his burdens, to not hold his failures above his head, to show him mercy and forgiveness, to see his brokenness and instead of saying “HA! SEE! I knew you couldn’t provide that for me . . . ” is to instead point him toward his identity and worth – defined by Christ alone. To point him toward a joy that’s so much deeper than what this world brings. To show him peace so much more profound and lasting than what he can find in a picturesque marriage. To pray for him. To love him. To speak Truth and Light into his life. To bring him to the Living Water, and draw his pail. 

Tucker, I love you. Oh, how I love you. Thank you for constantly pointing me to the One who Saves. Thank you for instead of building my marriage on YOU, you’ve pointed me to Him. We’re aren’t perfect, but His Love is. We got this. Let’s do this. ❤

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An Unexpected Blessing

 

New Parents

Welcome to our new blog! YES! We are expecting!! And we can’t wait to share more with you! We are excited to use this blog as an outlet to share our experiences, our joys, and our struggles. We want to always be transparent here so that others may more deeply get to know our hearts and learn from us as well. To start our blog off with, we’d like to publicly share our wedding invitation letter, the letter that was included in our invite. Later, we wish to share more details about this journey. We are absolutely thrilled to be new parents and can’t wait to share more with you! Thanks for visiting. 🙂

 

February 9, 2014

Family and Friends,

Although many of you are already familiar with our story, we wanted to share it once more as we truly believe in God’s ability to use each story to reveal His love, mercy, and abundant grace. After all, the gospel itself is a compilation of stories that together reveal the Father’s character and ultimate plan, a plan that continues in our stories today. Our story is also one that is very important in the timing of our marriage and in the incredible journey of faith God has taken us on.

Kaley and I met almost a year ago at our current church shortly after I moved to Oklahoma. We went on our first date as friends in June of 2013 and after many more dates, prayers over God’s purpose, and getting to know each other’s hearts at Bible study, we officially became a couple November 10, 2013. We both knew early on that we were moving toward marriage, and by December I knew I wanted to start having conversations with Kaley about engagement, but I desired to wait before doing so. In mid-January, however, God changed the course of our lives forever when we discovered that Kaley was pregnant.

The news came as a shock to both of us, but after being both convicted and humbled by the Holy Spirit we immediately decided to be open with our mistake and go to our family and church community.  We were very fearful to speak with them at first, paralyzed with shame and guilt, but once we did we were met with much grace, love, humility, and kindness. While they did not affirm our sin, they were very quick to remind us of Christ’s gospel of grace and how He came and died for not only our sin but for the sins of the world! We were reminded by them that the gospel is placed in our lives not to burden believers in overwhelming guilt and shame, but to free us in what Christ did on the cross! When we are truly repentant and turn from our sins, God is able to create a beautiful story and use it for His glory! We were also comforted and at peace knowing that we did not surprise God with a child, but God already knew our child, made provision for our child, and had a plan and purpose for him or her before the beginnings of the world (Psalm 139).

After gaining much counsel from our friends, family, and pastor, Kaley and I decided to get married sooner rather than later, a decision we feel is best for each other as well as for our child. Although our child influenced the timing of our marriage, our vows to each other are dependent on our love for one another and desiring to make a life-long commitment to love one another, serve one another, and lead each other closer to the Lord. We both are blessed to have had wonderful examples of marriage in our lives with our parents, family, and friends and look forward to creating our own story together in marriage.

Kaley and I would be more than honored for you to share our story with us by being a witness to our commitment to each other in the sacred vows of marriage before our Lord.

Sincerely,

Tucker and Kaley