Marriage is a beautifully complex relationship. It requires supporting each other emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically; balancing priorities, schedules, and outside relationships; molding two families; and supporting both the projects you do together to the projects you take on separately.
But it’s also pretty simple. Every interaction with your spouse comes down to two choices: “Our only option in all encounters is to glorify or to degrade.”
Dan Allender and Tremper Longman put it this way in their book Intimate Allies. An old coworker recommended it to me ages ago, and I wish I’d read it earlier in our marriage. It’s rare that there are literally only two choices. But I think Allender and Longman are onto something.
The authors write, “To view our spouses from the lens of glory is to be overwhelmed by the privilege of being face-to-face with a creature who mirrors God.” And that privilege should shape every choice, word, and action.
When you take two flawed people with different life experiences, different expectations, different communication styles, and stick them together for life, beautiful things happen — but there’s also bound to be some discomfort and conflict. In those moments of conflict, it’s easy to forget that God specifically created and chose the other partner, too, not just you.
I don’t know about y’all, but in ordinary everyday moments, I can be pretty awful at this. I want what I want when I want it. But I’m getting better at asking myself if my (usually unnecessarily strong) opinion in a given moment is really more important than fulfilling my commitment to serve and support the awesome creature God created, called “very good,” and intentionally sent to be my husband.
It truly is a privilege to be married to the cutest, nerdiest, most honorable, most perfect-for-me guy. And I’m working on building him up and honoring the glory that God placed in him, not just bowing to my own selfish instincts, every day.