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. ❤

_MG_3397.jpgDSC_0843.jpg

The Honest Truth: My Second Child, My Sweet Baby Boy

img_3440

In October we found out we were expecting, and on January 24th we got to see our squirmy little baby BOY on the ultrasound monitor. Making it to this ultrasound was extra special – for one because it’s the ultrasound we never made it to with Jordyn, but also because seeing my second baby on the monitor suddenly made things REALLY real. I’m going to be a mommy of TWO sweet little children, a girl and a boy!

I had never considered, TRULY considered, what it may be like to be a little family of four. As a lay beside my joyful, squirmy little daughter while reading her a book, I’ve teared up thinking about how this time with her, my undivided attention, is slowly coming to an end. I KNOW there will be so many joys to come, but with every stage of life, there is something sweet you must leave behind for more blessings to come. 

At night we always do “family hug” before she lays down for bed. My husband takes us in his arms while I hold my daughter and we all embrace. I think about my new little addition and where he will fit in this family hug. Will my daughter stand by my leg and I hold this little boy in my arms? Will I attempt to hold my daughter on one hip and this little boy on my other hip?

I smile when watching my daughter play — knowing that she will be such a sweet, caring little lady. I imagine her watching her little brother and wanting to help me take care of him. I imagine him smiling up at her, laughing at her little gestures.

Then, I wonder if my daughter will feel misplaced, forgotten, or ignored. I pray that she won’t. I pray that if she does it’s temporary. And I pray that I never get so consumed by bottles, diapers, baby cries, and sleepiness that I forget to love on my daughter too.

I also think about how I’m a full time working mom. Sometimes I allow the guilt to creep in, that perhaps I shouldn’t have a second child when I only have evenings with them, and weekends — but I know that thought only comes from lies from within of insecurities and silly things I’ve heard hinted by people who don’t understand.

I can’t wait to meet this sweet baby boy and have him in our family. I’m both anxious and joyous to think of the changes this will bring to our routine, our life, our experiences, and our family. What a beautiful blessing.

I’m ready for the dinosaurs, trains, swords, and Hot Wheels to mix in with the shopping cart, stuffed animals, gaudy jewelry, and dress up pink hats.

❤ Welcome to the family sweet baby boy. ❤

15384628_3310275722657_4880736159580596751_o