“Above all, be fervent in your love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sin.” ~ 1 Peter 1:8
Most marriages start out with at least some idealism and romantic expectation. Mine was no different. Clay won me with bouquets of yellow rose (I was his yellow rose of Texas), romantic cards, and lots of dinners out.
And then there was life—17 moves, 6 internationally; four children and three miscarriages, morning sickness all nine months of every pregnancy, near-death from blood loss during one miscarriage after which I had to be in bed for 2 months… yes, life. We have had deaths of family members, car wrecks, financial challenges, illness, a fire in our home as well as three floods, church splits, relative problems, ministry problems, and lots and lots of stress.
Nothing quite prepared me, as a very immature, untrained young woman, to know how to bear all of the stresses we would face just by being a family.
And yet, I had been taught to seek God’s word, to pray and to obey and live in wisdom. Early on, I learned that my marriage was a place of worship where I could either seek to bring God’s love, healing and grace every day because of my love for Him, or I could just live as a hypocrite and say that I was committed to God and would serve Him—except in marriage, because that was just asking too much!
I think there is a point when godly women have to say, “This is the reality of the puzzle I had been given in my life and in my marriage. I can either live and bring light, life, beauty and redemption into the situation and to this husband—with all of his flaws and all of my warts, and decide to show God’s reality in the midst, or I can live in disappointment”—because the reality in a fallen world is that there will always be stress and sin.
All children long to see their moms and dads love each other and be partners in life. The reality is that all marriages are filled with potential challenges and difficulty. Yet, how a woman responds to those difficulties within her marriage will determine if it is a place where the light and beauty of God’s love will be shown.
“Love covers a multitude of sin.” ” Love is a perfect bond of unity.” ” They will know you are My disciples by your love for one another.” All of these verses apply to marriage as well as to all relationships of life.
As Clay and I have cultivated this kind of grace-giving love, it has bloomed in the hearts of our children. They know we are not perfect, but they believe in a strong love that is the oxygen of commitment and the way we live in our home. All of our children feel that we are a part of a community of love because they have been drawn through all the seasons by getting back to the center: loving actively, using words of life and sowing the seeds of kindness.
But the foundations of strength and longevity start with a commitment in the heart. Am I willing to accept this story, this husband, these children, and cultivate His story through our lives, today, just as we are? When I accept our limitations and lean into our story with grace and love, our life story becomes a love story worth telling to generations to come. God joins our commitment and sprinkles His grace and goodness on it, and our acceptance of life along with His grace becomes a miracle of His working that our children will cherish their whole lives.
Going on 33 years–a story of adventure to tell.
Glad to be part of 14 Days of Fulfilling Your Vows! Click to find more stories of marriage as well as some wonderful giveaways!
Also, don’t miss SarahMae discussing Chapter Two of Desperate for our online book club!!!