It has been eight years (this week!) since I said yes and we looked with great anticipation toward the late summer day when we would say “I do” as they do now.
I ask what words we will speak.
I don’t know. He doesn’t know.
What is it we have learned in eight years worth passing along?
Wanting to be prepared and growing agitated I suggest we stop and pray. He grumbles.
“Well if you don’t want to talk to God I will,” I say in a sing-song voice.
“Nice. You stole that line right out of my playbook,” he retorts with a smile.
“Yeah. Well…” I reply with a grin.
We slow and pause. We try to get our hearts right before God. We bring our friends before Him.
Lord, what is it that two hearts preparing to be knit together as one need to know? What have you taught us?
I share how I’m thinking of Colossians and Genesis and what it means to live in unity as one flesh before God. He tells me he likes the sound of that.
I wonder what thoughts he has and I have no idea why he says I am better at this than he is. He lives love so much better than I do. He is patient with me when I exasperate…sometimes intentionally. He steps in and does what I fail to do—from making dinner, to humility, forgiveness, and love. He doesn’t complain.
I have so much to learn from him. I tell him so.
He quips back about how he has just the verse.
“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:9
He tells me he would be sitting on the addition roof with his porter if he really felt that way about me. We laugh.
With a poke, I ask him what he would say, seriously, to our friends.
He tells me his words to them would be: Marriage takes work. Don’t do it alone. Live in community that will support you in loving one another. Marriage will be the hardest thing you ever decide to do. It will also be the best. So work at loving each other well.
I smile at his words. They are true to the way he lives. I also think about how they complement and fill in what it looks like, practically, when unity is lived out. We bring out the best in one another.
“We are a good team,” I tell him.
I think about how this is as it is meant to be.
Two people come together in love and are united as one flesh before God.
This oneness is a mystery that He works in us as we lay down our lives (our time, our pride, our way) for one another. It is a mystery that runs deeper than the joining of two bodies. It is oneness of heart and purpose and vision for life together. It comes as we seek Christ; both of us yielded and open and focused on Him, we write our story together. And it is beautiful.
This is what we have learned to practice in eight years.
“So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:12-14 (NASB)
It comes down to this, dear ones. Put on love.
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we live united in Christ by wearing love. May we find great joy in oneness as we go where the Holy Spirit leads us.