We had been planning the day for over a year, but nothing could have prepared me for the moment I heard the sound of trumpeters echoing through the old marble-lined church. The time had come. There would be no more planning.
After what felt like an eternity, the church doors opened, and my love began to walk slowly down the aisle, eyes locked on mine.
“I Do.” No two words have ever held so much hope and promise.
When we married, we imagined the kind of life described in Ephesians 4:32. A life filled with kindness and tenderness. While that has been true for the most part, some days have been far more tender than others.
Our good intentions and willpower can only take us so far. Eventually, as life’s stressors pile on and the newness of marriage wears off, our natural selfishness begins to emerge. Slowly we begin to realize the person we married isn’t as perfect as we once thought, and neither are we.
So how can kindness and tenderness be sustained when the time is short, and the stress is high?
Based on our own strength, it is impossible. Yet somehow, God offers us the power to do that which we could never do on our own. Through Christ, we can learn to see our spouse differently. Flaws which once garnered wrath can fuel compassion. A marriage which once was only about us and our happiness can be used to impact thousands.
It is a profound mystery, but through Christ, the impossible can become possible.
Over the next 15 days, we will study each verse in the fifth chapter of Ephesians to see how it applies to marriage. As we do, I encourage you to look first at what the Scriptures say about you and your relationship with God. After you have spent some time with God in prayer, discuss what He has revealed to you with your spouse.
As your relationship with God deepens, His tenderheartedness will become more evident.
Dear God, when we first married, it was easy to imagine a life filled with tenderness. I confess that I have not lived up to my own expectations. My words and deeds have, at times, been selfish and unkind. Please forgive me. Show me through this series how to replace my flawed version of love with Yours. Help me to embrace the mystery of all that our marriage can be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For more on kindness listen to, “Kindness Makes a Big Difference” on FamilyLifeToday.com.