a look in the mirror
Marriage is death
Dying to my own selfish desires daily
Killing my pride and forcing me into humility
Teaching me how to love my husband more than I love myself
One thing that i've learned 9 months into marriage is that marriage is a mirror to show you the sin that exists in your heart.
Many dream and hope for the bliss found on tv, in movies, and on social media, but resist the things that threaten our own desires and freedom. Its easy to slip into the belief that marriage is all about self-gratification and less about self-sacrificing. However, that could not be further from the truth.
In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he explains that marriage at its core is designed to be a self-less union. Death to self is the key, not a pursuit of personal gratification. This does not come natural to us, as we are sinful beings. Our flesh craves things that fulfill our own longings and desires, but if we become so desperate for that romance and emotional connection, those selfish desires will lead our marriage, instead of God and his word. This causes us to believe that we must find the perfect husband or wife to fulfill all of our needs. But what if God wants to teach you the value and life found in committing to one person forever, not the exhausting pursuit of searching your entire life to find the perfect person? No one is perfect, and no single person will be able to satisfy all of your specific needs.
We are called to place the needs and wants of our spouse above our own. The more we are able to do this, putting our sin to death, the more beauty, purpose, and satisfaction will be found in our marriages. We will get to experience the joy in marriage as Christ intended.
"Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world." - John Piper
Marriage exists to be a glimpse, or mirror, of the relationship between Jesus and his bride. This means that the way we act in marriage should mirror how Christ has acted toward us. He has performed the greatest display of self-sacrifice, and sacrificing for our spouses is meant to serve as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice.
In these last few months, I've noticed how much work has to be done. In myself and in my marriage. There is much refining that the Lord needs to continue to do in me. With my sin exposed and brought to the light, I am able to work on and pray for change in those areas, to become a better wife and a better friend. While the journey may not be easy, as it is a fight against my flesh, it is well worth it. Constant gratification will never bring true joy, but self-sacrifice will bring the deepest pleasure and truest purpose.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
"The person who understands the evil in his own heart is the only person who is useful, fruitful, and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches, and all other relationships. In thier self pride and judgment of others, they show great inconsistency." - John Owen