A good friend of mine just celebrated her one year anniversary. She commented that she made it through what people say is the hardest year. I understand what she meant, but I would also argue that marriage should always be hard. Not in a striving, miserable kind of way. But in a way that you exert actual effort in making it what God intended.
My dad once told me that three parts make up a marriage. He said that marriage should be one-thirds spiritual, one-thirds emotional, and one-thirds physical. In this little blog series, I’d like to share my views on the three, how they affect my marriage, where Kris and I get it right, and where we sometimes fall short. “Fall short” is for you Uncle Ken.
Now, I do not claim to be an expert on the topic. This is my second marriage, after all. And, you might be reading this thinking, “I think marriage is four parts” or “I think marriage is this” or “I think marriage is that.” Well, you might be right. Share your thoughts with me, and maybe and we’ll both learn something new.
Today, I’m going to open up the dialogue with the spiritual part of marriage.
I believe when this part is done right, two individual people can come together in an extraordinary relationship. When Kris and I first married, he didn’t feel he was a “spiritual” person since, in his mind, his spirituality was based on knowledge of the Bible. As I began to share with him that his heart for other people, his simple acts of kindness, and the way he loved John Henry and I made him as spiritual as one can get, his understanding of it changed.
Kris and I don’t daily sit down and read God’s Word together. So, perhaps, we fall short here. But when I read a scripture that really grabs a hold of my heart, he is the first person I share it with. When we pray together, it is always me praying out loud. And, regardless of your thoughts on this, I am okay with it. I’ll never forget in our first year of marriage we were lying in bed, and I wasn’t feeling well. I leaned over and asked him to pray for me. He said, “Okay.” But after about 3 minutes of silence, I reacted, “Kris, pray for me!”
“I am! You just interrupted me!” He responded.
I couldn’t help but chuckle then, and I still get a kick out of that story today. While, I am comfortable praying aloud, Kris would rather not. However, he always prays aloud for our children. And, that’s what matters most to me.
But, I know he prays. He will often tell me what God is showing him about our family, about our business, and about our children. And, I can’t tell you the number of times that we both came together and shared something we felt God was showing us to do, and it was the same thing. That’s when the relationship becomes extraordinary – at least to me.
I respect Kris as the spiritual leader of our home. And, he respects what God shows me. And, while marriage offers the best place for raising children and offering companionship, it also offers the opportunity to learn valuable spiritual lessons of love, compassion, and commitment. It provides a place to live as Christ-followers. It is where God is considered in every decision. It is where as individuals, we live as God has called us to live – and when we come together, God is glorified.