Paul and I celebrated five years of marriage this past Saturday, June 2. Unlike last year, our celebration this year was drama-free and relaxing. Our sweet friend, Elise, babysat Luke while we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Varanese. We enjoyed the wonder that is Varanese, and what a treat it was to spend time alone together!
God deserves much praise for the ways He has blessed our marriage. Our first day of marriage marked the one-year anniversary of us as a couple, so obviously, we were not experts on how to "do marriage well." In fact, as I became consumed in the commotion of wedding planning during our short 5 1/2 month engagement, Paul would encourage me to invest my preparation on us "being married" more than on us "getting married." The problem was that we didn't know how to "be married," because at the time, our relationship was primarily a blissful feeling. We had no experience under our belts to teach us yet that marriage is a decision- a good decision.
On our wedding day, we recited the traditional vows to each other. At the end of the vow, we added the phrase, "for the glory of God, through Christ Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit." We knew that we were getting married to glorify God and that the words in this phrase were the only means of fulfilling our vows, but we struggled to glorify God with marriage. I don't know that anyone can fully prepare for that. But in His perfect providence, God did not delay in showing us our selfishness and how much selflessness was necessary to make marriage thrive. He taught us that the only way we could love each other well was to keep Him in the center of it.
And there was no better reminder of that than the sermon that Denny Burk preached this past Sunday. He reminded us that according to the Bible, marriage exists for the glory of God. What a helpful and convicting reminder this was! While Paul and I certainly do not claim to have the perfect marriage and while I am forever a wife-in-training, I'm so thankful that the One who created marriage is the One who will sustain it! Praise Jesus!