(3) Avoid it all. Make it girls' night out every weekend. Feed your appetite for sex when it's hungry, for community with drinking buddies, but don't let anyone too close. Marriage is old news anyway. Commitment is so Generation X. No strings attached. Lock your heart up in an "iron-clad dungeon" where no one can reach it, and allow it to grow "motionless, unbreakable, and impenetrable." Then no one will ever break it ... or capture it.
(4) Or, whether you buy the biblical view of marriage or not, realize that love takes hard work. And that, as long as you limit the field to human beings, you'll never marry the "right person." Because there are no 100% "right people." Sin's presence in the world guarantees it. There are only wrong people who pretend to be right and wrong people who are becoming right, through Jesus. That's why I like the biblical image of marriage. The fairy-tale image of two soul mates finding love at last is just that, a fairy tale. But the biblical image of marriage provides something so much more beautifully realistic.
It paints a portrait of two sinners, committing to the task of one another, for the sake of one another, until death do them part. It's two imperfect people, committing to the sanctifying work of expressing Jesus' self-sacrificial love, to their lover, so that they might see him or her become the person God has always intended them to be, knowing full well that neither of them have yet to reach this goal.
When you both commit to this, not only will you experience the perks of marital intimacy like you never could imagine, but you both will change. You both will become more forgiving, more sensitive, more loving and more truthful, together.
Or even if just one of you commits to this, I think you'll be surprised how much, still, you both will change. Your forgiveness, your sensitivity, your love, and your truthfulness will enable and compel your spouse to show the same kind of transforming character back. And what could be more satisfying than that?
Not much. Trust me. I know. Because I've been married, two years now, to a girl who has relentlessly committed to this task with me. And because of that, I'm a better person. And so is she, I think. Love you, Lindsay. Here's to fifty more. Can't wait to see the person God is making you to be. And can't believe I get the honor of being a part of it.
See "How I know my wife married the 'wrong' person (Part 2)" on Cross-Shaped Stuff.
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