dating and singlehood · faith · family · womens issues

Day 1: God’s purpose for your marriage

Right off the bat, Wife after God speaks to my marriage.

You were made as a representation, to reflect God’s goodness, and to radiate His love. You were not thrown together with scraps nor were you stitched together with leftovers. You were divinely designed by the Creator of the universe, you were inspired by Him, and you were made with purpose.

I had to smile and get weepy reading this. As most of you reading my blog know our story, I won’t rehash it all. (But if you want to catch up, you can read more about us, for starters here… and here.)

Our marriage is not leftovers. There is a cynical side of my brain that could go there. I’m a second wife technically speaking. Any woman who has married a man previously married and divorced could easily let her heart fall into the trap of some combination of competition, bitterness, jealousy for things past and gone, and letting an ex-spouse invade her personal space and sense of family in the present. You may feel like your husband is secretly comparing you in the back of his head wondering if there will be a day when he will regret you. Or even if this doesn’t plague you, there may be times when you quietly mourn the lost “firsts” of marriage and children and all the joy that goes with them. Depending on your fight or flight tendencies, being a second spouse can make you bitter or jaded or combative without even realizing it for what it is.

And it’s easy to fall into this trap when you view yourself as scraps. Maybe your life has been filled with regret and by the time you’re 39, you’re thinking I will never get married unless I really throw out all my standards. You begin to wonder if it isn’t just easier to get a really big dog.

But I’m reminded of this truth – the one that I have known all along – the Creator and Lover of my soul does not and never will see me as second best. I am not a consolation prize. I am not a “she’ll do.” I am bought with a price. I am purchased with precious blood. And I am cherished.

His purpose in marriage is to reflect this truth. I am not an after thought or a rebound. I was in His mind all along, part of His plan, part of the endgame, the goal in the first place.

It’s hard at times to see it this way. It’s awkward and clumsy to try to define this to people. How can this be? When divorce is part of the story, it becomes awkward to say this. Um, yeah, well, that one didn’t take. And so, ummmm, yeah, here we are. Let’s try this again.

It occurs to me the purpose of the fall. Not in a Batman Begins kind of way where Bruce Wayne’s father says, “Why do we fall? To learn to pick ourselves up.” It’s a nice sentiment. It fits in with the prevalent divorce culture. Well, if at first you don’t succeed… and all that.

But God … God steps into the mess. He says no. That was sin. That was a huge disaster and calls you to repentance. But it does not define you. It is not your worth. Your name is still mine – it has not changed. Your life is still in my hands. Give me your reins and your drive. I will have you in the direction you should go and I will lead you to where my grace will be poured out on you, grace upon grace. And when you repent to me, I will restore you and make new things out of the ruins. I will build you a new home, a new life. I will give you … Robin! (If you’re Rob, that is.)

This is our purpose. To reflect the love of the Almighty – the FIRST love, the ONLY love. To shine hope into darkness. To bring life from death. To place peace over raging. To pour glory on guilty heads. To restore unity and healthy desire and true communion.

Because our marriage is a picture of our relationship with God, we can find identity out of the ashes and joy from sorrow. We watched Him pick up our pieces, our scraps, and turn it into a most beautiful image, that looks an awful lot like grace.

God, keep us looking exactly like Grace all our days.

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