A note about marriage

Nine years ago today Brad and I said our vows, a pair of two 21-year olds in love. As the sun set over the lake and in front of our friends and family (many of them likely crossing their fingers over our young age!) we committed ourselves to each other and set our relationship before God.

Here is what I’ve learned since then:

1) Love is a choice. Many times that lovin’ feeling will come easily, but sometimes it doesn’t. In those times we make the conscious choice to actively love each other.  

2) Marriage is a gift, and only by the grace and mercy of God do we learn how to extend this same grace and mercy to each other.

3) And finally, no one else knows me like he does (besides God of course!) and that’s how it should be. The love that has grown between us since we first met is ours to hold. It is special and rare — almost like a precious secret. We prioritize, guard and nurture it.

I pray that God continues to provide His grace for us, and am so grateful that He’s brought us here together.

11 thoughts on “A note about marriage

  1. Happy Anniversary! You guys were youngsters, 21! –

    I’ve been thinking about your first point about love is a choice. Yes love is beyond emotions. But a couple of years ago – right around my anniversary I got an overwhelming sensation of God’s love like I never had before. I thought it was a tremporary emotional high- but after that point the love in me changed. A new love exists or perhaps it is more real, enduring, and strong – but it flooded my soul for others and where it has stood out the most to me was with my husband. It covered a lot of wrongs that happened throughout my marriage enabling me to break down walls I had built in response.

    It is clearly a love beyond myself. A love that overlooks wrongs, that forgives, that is more compassionate. A love that I feel strong with me that often surprises me because it is so different from how I use to feel. It is a love I never had before. It is simply how I feel. There isn’t effort there – it just flows. Before this love, which I know is God’s love flowing through me, my love felt more contrived, forced and it was mostly self-focused. Even when I was loving others it was still about me.

    yes love is a choice – we chose to act and be certain ways. We chose to put others first, to think about their needs . . . but ever since God filled me with His love that night – it is more of a desire – not always the passionate emotions but it is desire I feel in my spirit constantly – does that make sense?

    1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

    It took me awhile to really know God’s love. For years I didn’t and one day when I finally admitted it – I was too ashamed even to myself – I finally did and asked God to show me His love. Years later on that night a couple years ago He showed me His love by giving a part of it to me to know and to give. It came after I spent years seeking Him – just as it says in that verse – to know true love we have to be born of Him and Know Him – it was the knowing, really knowing Him, that took awhile and aligning my will and life to His.

    Anyway – just some thoughts – Sorry for rambling on. : )

    Rachel

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  2. Lori — thank you! It was good to see you at church yesterday. You must be feeling good — you are getting that telltale glow.

    Joyful — thank you. I know that 9 years isn’t exactly a milestone, but in our culture where marriages fall apart (some quite publicly) constantly it just feels like a victory for God and for love.

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  3. Rachel, your thoughts about God’s love are humbling and beautiful. Love is truly a noun in that sense, an object that God gives to us and we give to others. You did a marvelous job of putting it into words.

    My husband and I have both been close to several marriages/relationships that fell apart in the past several years. We’ve talked about what makes some work, when others don’t. And one of the main reasons that many long-term successful marriages work is because both sides decide to love each other on a daily basis.

    And for the Christian marriage, this “love is a choice” combines with that divine love directly from God and the results are amazing.

    Thank you for sharing — I very much appreciate your “rambles.”

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  4. as I was praying about the too common fascination to Hollywood films God gave me a vision of a person putting one foot closer to hell.. they are feeding their God shaped void with a useless counterfeit. Incidentally as I was also praying as to what place has to most demos, thinking in my mind the strip clubs, God spoke to me and said it was the TV… be careful as to what you see, hear, read, it can be a form of negative brainwashing by the demons now as well.

    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/hear-the-word-of-the-lord/

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  5. Coming out as an atheist was really hard on our marriage, at first. It was scary becoming a man that my wife would not have married 8 years before. With time it was a huge improvement though. Love is, as you said, a choice. It is also as DC Talk said long enough ago to make me feel old, a verb. It’s also a feeling. It takes all three to have an enjoyable marriage. With time, we found that loving each other because we wanted to instead of because it was our duty was kind of freeing. Being equals instead of me being the ‘head of the household’ also really gave us sense of partnership that we continue to enjoy. Ultimately even the normal male struggle of inner faithfulness became easier, because I took full responsibility for my inner life, as well as had more reasonable expectations of what it should be.

    I find when I talk to Christians about these things, that somehow I was ‘doing it wrong’ as a Christian, because they somehow found these same things in the word, and felt as Christians the way I do post de-conversion. So most likely you have free, loving, and responsible marriage! Congratulations on 9 years and I hope you have many more.

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  6. In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I am Anna’s husband. She is an amazing person that was absolutely a gift from God. I normally don’t blog like she does but was touched by Truthwalker’s comments of being freed by doing what he wanted(could I substitue the word desired) to do instead of what he had to. As Christians, are we called to duty and self deprication? I might have said yes to that question until about 7 months ago. I love Rachel’s comment, “God filled me with His love that night – it is more of a desire” I had that filling of God’s love about 7 months ago, and it also took years to get to that night. God loves us whether we do our duty or not, and sharing that love is definately a spiritual, not physical, desire. It can’t be explained in a fleshly sense or through teachings on sin or hell or through scientific methods. I feel like I’ve been born again, that’s the best way to put it. Every touch, taste, smell, sight(seems like there should be five senses but I’m tired) seems new and awesome.

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