Ever wonder why it sometimes seems that romance is only a fairy-tale? Maybe it’s because we forget that in those Cinderella stories, the characters have to overcome obstacles before they arrive at their “happily ever after”.
Real life. Real stories. Two imperfect people brought together from two different worlds, and we somehow think that “life will always be beautiful with you by my side.”
I know I’m starting to sound negative, but stay with me and you’ll see where I’m going with this. There are no perfect marriages, because when two imperfect people start a life together as husband and wife, they come together with only a few pieces of the puzzle that will eventually make the beautiful portrait we call LOVE.
In real life, real love, we laugh and we cry. We struggle to survive, and we revel in the moments that bring us joy. We work through the difficulties that life brings–that two different personalities can bring–and we love each other more because of them.
My husband and I were both 21 when we married, and boy were we clueless…
Up to that point, we really hadn’t struggled much, and our love was naive to say the least. We thought that once we finally said, “I do”, our two worlds would come together and we would become a “beautiful picture of what love could be.”
The first year was the hardest! Moving to a new state, starting school and new jobs, being financially strapped and far away from everything familiar, we struggled to work out all of the “kinks”. I just knew that I could never be the kind of woman he was expecting, and I’m sure he was firmly convinced that his world had been completely flipped upside down. He had come from a family with four boys, and had just spend 4 years at a Christian college in a dorm room full of testosterone! I had been independent, often working more than one job, and had the freedom to go and the freedom to spend. Even though we had dated for four years, these two mismatched pieces certainly had a hard time connecting.
Several years of poverty and learning to enjoy each other despite the struggles taught us to depend even more on God and each other. We were totally committed to the Lord and to our marriage–so the D word was not allowed!
THIS IS WHY A MAN
LEAVES HIS FATHER AND MOTHER
AND BONDS WITH HIS WIFE,
AND THEY BECOME
Every difficulty brought victory. As we worked through our differences, we learned to appreciate the gift that marriage is. In our weaknesses we learned to go to our Creator, the very author of LOVE and depend on Him for direction, wisdom and perseverance.
In a culture that has depreciated the value of traditional marriage, we need to be reminded of the truth from God’s Word. GOD instituted marriage, and GOD knew that we needed each other. It is when we put Him first in our marriage and allow Him to take two hearts and put the pieces together that we become the picture of LOVE that the world is looking for.
A sweet young friend made this for me recently because she knew of my love for puzzles… (see https://wateringcanblog.com/2012/07/12/lifes-a-puzzle/)
Don’t you see? The world’s definition of LOVE is lacking. When our hearts are united–not as two, but three–the pieces of the puzzle FIT! He designed us for relationship with Him and with others. He demonstrated love for us on the cross. (Romans 5:8) When you come to know and understand that kind of sacrificial love, you will see that it’s this kind of love that holds a marriage together.
Doug and I still don’t have a perfect marriage. And yes, we still fight sometimes, but the underlying theme of commitment–to the Lord and to each other–provide the foundation for building a strong marriage. If you want to read some of the things we do to keep our marriage strong, read:
In this season of focusing on love, let’s make sure that our hearts keep the right perspective on romance. Real-life romance is a puzzle–and the pieces don’t always look like we quite expected on our wedding day. After 32 years of marriage, I can honestly say that I love my husband more than ever, and even though we are still busy trying to figure out where all the pieces go, we are enjoying the process. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and as you do, your love for Him and your spouse will grow.