Thankfully, our 10 year friendship prior to marriage, 14 month engagement, and excellent pre-marital counseling made our first year of marriage a lot less of an adjustment than I had expected.
However, I was recently telling a friend who is about to get married that one of the big transitions into marriage that I had was seeing myself reflected every day in John. By this I mean seeing how my every word and every action impacted someone else. It was like walking around with a mirror in front of me all day. And unfortunately that mirror oftentimes revealed my selfishness, my imperfections, my pride.
And the funny part about recognizing my self-centeredness was that it still made me focused on myself. In trying to will myself to be less self-focused, I was perpetuating the problem.
Going into year two of marriage, I have a better perspective of where my focus needs to be. Even if I set my gaze on John instead of myself, growth would stagnate. Instead, we must both look to something higher than ourselves.
It's the upside-down Gospel where our marital foundation is found not by looking below to where our own feet are taking us, but above.
|Is looking down making you dizzy? |
Set your heart and mind on things above (Col. 3:1-2)
Thankfully, I am blessed with a husband who is gracious, patient, and loves me for the imperfections. Together we have grown throughout our first year of marriage, and it has already been exciting (and often funny) to reminisce on first year "bloopers" ...like me crying when I burnt John's favorite cookies on his birthday, or John getting frustrated when I beat him in a game of Scrabble.
Going into this second year, I am eager to reset my focus. Yes, it is important to take stock of your relationship with your spouse. However, if you constantly assess your marriage, you'll quickly become obsessed with everything that is not quite perfect enough to qualify you for "the best marriage ever." We are broken people in a broken world, so playing the game of perfection will only result in frustration. You must see a higher purpose. What is God calling you to as a couple that you couldn't do alone?
|I want to intentionally remember that my sinful nature is made pure only through Christ. |