When you’ve known someone for most of your life, you get to know them quite well. My wife and I have known each other since we were about 14 years old. We dated off and on from middle school through college and got married the summer after college.
Spending that much time with another person is a mixed blessing for sure. You know them better than anyone. The good stuff and the not-so-good stuff. What I want you to know are three (3) things I have to sadly admit, took me far too long to recognize and appreciate about her.
1. She is God’s daughter – as a fellow Christian, my wife has also been adopted into God’s family and is a precious daughter of His. He personally hand-crafted her in her mother’s womb (Ps. 139), knows every hair on her head (Matt.10), and loves her enough to send His son to die on her behalf. He created her on purpose and has a wonderful plan for her life.
2. She was created specifically for me – since the very first marriage (Gen.2), God declared that it is “not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”. God handcrafted Eve for Adam. Out of all the women on the planet, He handcrafted a wife specifically for me also. He knew I would need help and so He created a “helper” with the exact specifications needed to partner with me in this lifetime. How awesome is that?
3. She is a sinner – like her husband. We are both addicts. We are addicted (by birth) to ourselves. Neither of us has it all together and neither of us will ever be able to be a selfless spouse who loves with unconditional love. Our sin nature automatically defaults to “me” each morning of our lives, and we must remain desperate for God’s direct intervention and help if we are ever to make our marriage work. Each of us, with God’s grace, must extend truckloads of grace and forgiveness to the other and constantly remember that our spouse was never intended to make us happy or meet all of our needs….. that is God’s job.
I wish I had realized and appreciated these things about my wife much earlier in our marriage, but I am thankful to be able to share them with other couples these days as we mentor and teach on marriage. I want to believe that our marriage would have been even richer/fuller than it has been and that I would have been a much better husband along the way.
Surely I would have treated her with much more honor and respect if I had truly comprehended that I was marrying one of God’s daughters and He was watching to see how I was treating her.
Surely I would have never been tempted by other women (real or imaginary) had I fully appreciated that God made her specifically for me, to help me, to partner with me and to impact the world around us – for His glory.
Surely I would have been much quicker to apologize, to forgive and to give grace to my fellow sinner instead of somehow thinking she was the problem. Surely we would have prayed together more, said I’m sorry quicker, and battled our real enemy together, instead of pointing fingers.
Wouldn’t I have?
Will you – now that you know?