Marriage (Part 2)

Married after 10 years together
Married after 10 years together

Let me not convince you that marrying a Christian man means marrying a perfect man. None of us are perfect. Jesus (as man) is the ultimate model—and He was perfect—but I’m afraid we are going to fall short in that department. I’m telling you the truth when I say that your husband will do things that irritate you (hopefully, that does not result in any flying chicken carcasses!). If you have the flu, then he’ll have it worse. If you have a lot to do, then he’ll have more. He will leave the toilet seat up and his underwear on the floor. He will glide right over piles of laundry like Christ walking on water. I am not lying. You may actually want to strangle your dearly beloved at times. Please do not do that; at such a time, prayer will suffice.

But know this: the man of your dreams will also do sweet and beautiful things for you. My husband wakes up with me every morning and makes me a breakfast smoothie and packs my lunch. If he is home when I leave the house, he always stands on the front porch and waves until I back out and drive away, no matter how long I dawdle around with the radio and the seat position. He knows to stay out of the kitchen if I’m cooking, and for the love of all that is wild and free, he knows to never ask me what I’m making for dinner (I’m a little secretive in the kitchen). At church, he will keep his arm around my shoulders even to the point of his hand falling asleep because he knows that it is one of my favorite things in the world—to just lean up against him and listen to the pastor talk. After 35 years, it’s nice to know that my husband still loves me and wants to care for me and make me happy.

These little things…these little rituals…remind me of something that G.K. Chesterton wrote. Chesterton thought, as a child, that the universe was not dead, random atoms whirling about in endless, mindless confusion. For him, the universe (and this was before he was Christian) was alive and in concert with a creator who adored it. Let me read a little piece of his work:

“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.” –G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1908.

Are we capable of doing that? Are we able to not just tolerate monotony, but to find joy and delight in the rhythmic cycles of our mortality? Can we step outside of the mere act of repetition to find the spiritual bliss that comes from appreciating the creation that our Father has crafted for us? I would love to say, “Yes,” but my heart knows how difficult it is to find the glory of God in the bombardment of our mundane existence. Perhaps that explains the reason why the divorce rate is so high. On average, Christians are almost as likely to divorce as any other comparative group. Nine years ago, the Christian divorce rate—and I mean Christians who claimed to be practicing, not the nominals—was nearly indistinguishable from the national divorce average; 33% was the lump figure for all Americans, while Christians came in at 32%. We are doing something wrong if we don’t look any different than our non-Christian family and friends.

Marriage (Part 3)

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