Marriage, a Dramatization of the Gospel

August 16, 2013

IMG_7298 This has been an extremely hard summer.  This has been a summer of frustration, a summer of stress, and a summer of loneliness.  Looking back at this summer semester, Nate and I don’t think we would have chosen for him to take so many classes if we knew how hard it was going to be.  It has truly been God who has carried both Nate and me through these stressful past few months. You see, marriage and relationship has always been so easy for Nate and me.  I was always shocked when people talked about how “hard marriage is” because, for our seasons of dating and engagement and the first two years of marriage, everything had been so easy.  I get it now.  The stress of this summer made our marriage hard. I’m going to be honest with all of you, Nate and I haven’t handled our stress as well as we should have during this season.  It’s been our own fault that marriage has gotten hard.  This stress has caused us to be selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed – uncharacteristically so.  Both of us have done and said stupid things that have offended and hurt one another.  We haven’t been serving and submitting to each other well.  No, I’m not saying this has been what the whole summer’s been like, but it’s definitely been a lot more of an issue than it’s ever been before.  (And don’t you all worry, this is simply a season that we’re working through.  Our marriage is doing 100% fine!  We’re just as crazy about each other as ever before.) One night, about two weeks ago, Nate and I were lying in bed.  I was extremely hurt over something Nate had done and was just so frustrated with how both of us had been behaving this summer.  Nate pulled me into his arms, gave me a kiss, and expressed how very sorry he was for how inconsiderate he had been.  He owned up to the fact that what he had done had been wrong and stupid and let me know that he completely understood why I was upset.  Once I was reminded of the fact that he does value and respect me (why is it so easy to forget that?), it was so easy for me to genuinely forgive him and put the problem behind us.  I rested easy, knowing that Nate was going to work hard to not have that situation repeat itself. The next day, I was mulling over this situation.  God was speaking so clearly into my heart regarding the cycle of stress, hurt, and forgiveness Nate and I have been in this summer.  He reminded me of how often am I like Nate in the situation the night before, having done something stupid that completely hurts the Lord.  How often is He heartbroken, frustrated, and offended by actions I choose to do with no regard for Him?  How often does He long for me to just admit to Him that I am in the wrong so we can work through it and move on? You see, the love I have for Nate makes it so completely easy to forgive him.  How much bigger is God’s love for me?  Honestly, he loved me so much he DIED for me!  Of course He loves me enough to forgive each and every thing I do against Him!  Why do I enter His presence in fear?  I am covered by the Blood of the Lamb!  I am covered with the Love of Christ!  I have a deep, intimate connection with the Lord.  I am the Bride of Christ. On the other side of things, the trust Nate has for me – the knowledge that I will forgive him – allowed him to freely confess and repent of his shortcomings to me.  He longed to remain in a healthy relationship with me and knew that unexpressed wrongs weren’t going to allow our relationship to remain healthy.  Isn’t that the way I should view my relationship with the Lord?  I should have the mindset that any unexpressed wrongs will only hinder my relationship with Him.  I should be running to confess to Him in order to maintain our trusting, loving relationship.  It’s not like He doesn’t know what’s going on in my life.  Just like I was already hurt by what Nate had done, the Lord is already hurt by what I do.  He is so ready to forgive me, though – so much more ready than I am to forgive Nate! It’s amazing to me how stress, hurt, and frustration can truly lead to such a revelation about the way I should relate with the Lord!  God is so good, speaking to us, even in times of weakness.  I pray that you will truly understand what a wonderful blessing it is to be able to turn to the Lord, even in our mess ups! (And trust me, this isn’t me throwing Nate under the bus – just ask him how big of a brat I was on Tuesday night.  That time it was me on the confessing side.  Thankfully, Nate’s a wonderfully forgiving man.)

  • I kinda feel like you read my mind… marriage is really meant to be a reflection of Jesus and His bride, and so often I know we fall short of displaying that image – so often it's easy to forget that He loves us and wants the best for us and I act like a total brat about it. I could go on, but yeah, you said it πŸ™‚ <3

  • It's going through those hard times that builds a marriage stronger…just like when God puts us through test and difficulties so we will grow in our faith and he can mold us to who he wants us to be. My Tim and I have been through some of those hard times as well…but when you have God in your marriage you have the winning advantage.

    Laura @ Mice In the Kitchen

  • you guys, so adorable.. full with love.. even hard times..good to know you feel ok. http://underthestarsandsun.blogspot.com/

  • Jen

    It's the hard time that makes everything so worth it. You realize that you wouldn't want to go through those times with anyone else.

  • Beautiful post! It can be so hard to admit our wrongs…to our spouses AND to God. The worst part is that our spouse will probably be willing to forgive us for our apologies, and God certainly will! Why can't we just do it already?? πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for sharing this, marriage definitely isn't alway puppies and rainbows, but if we remember to forgive the way God forgave us it makes moving forward so much better.
    Ginny

  • I see you there. Richard and I had our hard patches, full of doubt, disappointment in each other, and hurt. But at the end, we always knew we belong together. No matter how sad, angry, or disappointed we were, we always knew we will be doing better with each other than by ourselves. We are a unity, and always will be. And each rough patch made us stronger for the long run. Stay strong and believe in you, Susannah and Nate!!

  • such a blessing how God uses relationships to teach us more about himself… even in the hard times! thanks for sharing

  • I think every couple goes through those hard patches, but it's how you handle it as a couple that really brings you together. Just remember that you're going through it as a team and support each other.

  • I absolutely love this. Steve and I were the exact same; we always said that if the first year is the hardest, we're set for life…it felt so easy to us! Of course, we started hitting the occasional rough patch, and really had to WORK at our marriage, and I've really come to appreciate those moments (not in the moment of course), because they force us to practice humility and grace, and they help us understand each other better. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Marriage is such a picture of Christ's never-stopping-always-forgiving-loving-us-no-matter-what love…one of God's many great ideas! It is easy to forget, but when we are allowing God to reveal His love to us through marriage (especially when we screw up on loving eachother well) it is a beautiful thing! πŸ™‚

  • I've long believed that the closeness of the marriage relationship lends itself well to a better understanding of unconditional Love–over time and over years as we learn how often we fail and how often we love poorly, we gain a greater appreciation for how God loves us. Have you read "Sacred Marriage"–that's probably my all-time favorite marriage book, the main idea is generally how the experience of marriage can mold our characters to be more like Christ.

  • Iam glad that he realized what was wrong and that you were upset.
    Dont such moments 'stick' ;)?

  • I absolutely love the realness of this post. Every marriage has it's season of tough times my husband and I have definitely had our fair share. In the beginning I was really terrible at forgiving him even though I said that I did. It wasn't until I understood that marriage was a reflection of Christ's love for the church that I really got it….I finally learned that grace is necessary to our marriage. The rough times are a reminder that marriage definitely takes work and needs two awesome forgivers.

  • great post honey, i really love the truth yout old us!

    xx

  • Wonderful post! Stress makes everyone do things they wish they hadn't, and it is so good to be surrounded by those who can still love and forgive.

  • Love this post girl! I find it so amazing how different relationships in our lives can teach us about God's different characteristics–and our relationship with Him!

  • This is a great post. It is so true how the picture of Grace becomes all the more clear when you marry. We've had struggles of our own and haven't always been as ready to forgive or even apologize. How much more patience I can give when I take on the heart of the Lord and surrender that to him.

  • Great post! Love your honesty and your thoughts on truth.
    You're right: marriage, in its purest form, really IS supposed to give us a picture of Christ's love for his Church–of his grace and forgiveness.
    Thanks for posting!

  • I think that marriage gets hard when situations change up a bit. When we get out of our normal situation, we have to work even harder to feel and show that love we have for our spouse. You're so great, Susannah…I really liked this post…definitely agree that when things get tough we need to turn to our Heavenly Father for help!

  • marriage i think has been the one thing that has stretched me the most to really show God's grace. it's a struggle especially when situations change and become difficult. it's great though that both of you were able to recognize where there was room for forgiveness and extended grace towards each other. and i'm sure this struggle will only strenghten your marriage as well. loved your honesty!

  • I really like the comparison that you made here. It reminds me of a quote I heard about how the quality of our marriage is a gift to God. It can be so easy to forget to work on your marriage when things are stressful, but it's so wonderful to know that you can come back from that place.

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