on Friday night, and again tonight with his family, my sweet husband and i went to watch the movie Fireproof, which i had really been looking forward to seeing for a long time, several months in fact, after i accidentally found the trailor on GodTube.com
i really, really loved the movie...my favorite line from it was probably when the young man's father said to him "Caleb, you don't know how to love your wife because you've never experienced real love in the first place" (i.e. God's love...for more on that, see my post series titled "love as it was meant to be")
with Paul leaving in about 3 weeks for Iraqi training, then for Iraq (plus 5 days this week starting Wednesday), we are doing everything we can to "fireproof" our marriage
it is the absolute truth that marriage not only survives, but greatly flourishes, when Christ is made the center of the entire thing...marriage was never meant to be just between 2 people, but between 3...as Ecclesiastes 4:12b says "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
however, even with the Lord in the lead, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage, and that was the only thing the movie didn't point out after the ending...and it got me thinking
there have been a few times people have come to Paul and i, asking us how have the perfect marriage, and our answer is always, "we don't"...then some people will say "oh, but you two always seem so happy and in love"...we answer, "yes, we are, but it's because of Jesus Christ...there is no other way we would be so happy"
it is true, we are very, very happy, and extremely "in love" (if you want to call it that...we don't though)...however, even with the Lord in the lead, there is no such thing as the perfect marriage...
NEWS FLASH: perfect marriages don't exist
i think this is just one reason (along with many others) that even godly, spirit-filled believers end up divorced...we go into marriage on the wedding day with the expectation that our spouse will meet every one of our needs, 24/7, without us having to ask, and we will always be happy, in love, and things will be perfect because we know the Lord
but if that were so, Christians would not end up divorced...there is a huge lie out there going around in the Church scene that people's lives will be perfect once they come to the Lord
NEWS FLASH: perfect lives don't exist
we are never going to have perfect lives...no such thing as a perfect marriage, perfect job, perfect house, perfect car, perfect anything, will ever be found...it just won't
one more tiny news flash: perfect people don't exist
Jesus Christ was a perfect man, fully human yet fully God, in every way...but his life, by our world's standards, was far from perfect...people despised him, rejected him in his own hometown...he had no home of his own, he was single, and the people he spent time with were the outcasts of the society...yet it was his un-perfect life that led Him to be perfected by God, through His obedience in death on the cross
i love my husband to death, so much so that i literally would die for him if i had to, but he is not perfect...neither am i...we make mistakes every single day, big and small
the secret to our happiness is NOT having the perfect marriage! why? because it forces us to get on our knees, to humbly ask for forgiveness, to seek God for help, and to lean on/trust Him with all of our hearts...our marriage, despite the tough things we have gone through and will go through, has been blessed beyond belief...it is NOT being perfect that has given us a strong marriage...because we rely on Christ, and are obedient to Him, even through our many imperfections, we are made stronger
Christian perfection doesn't mean that we won't fail, but that when we do fail (as we inevitably do), we ask God to change our hearts, which changes our actions, and in turn changes our lives...it is us sharing our lives with Christ, and Him working through us by the power of the Holy Spirit, that gives us the ability to live a life short of perfection, yet always striving for it...ultimately, we are fulfilled, and find our happiness, in Him...we put our hope in Him, instead of earthly, imperfect people and things...because of our relationship with Him, Paul and i don't seek perfection in one another, yet we seek perfection FOR one another through Christ's perfect sacrifice
are you expecting perfection in your self, from your spouse, from your life even? if so, have you ever attained it? apart from Christ, perfection is impossible...and even with Him, it cannot be attained while on earth...however, through Christ, the power to love beyond measure and to live a happy and fulfilled life, is possible
for those of you who will be/are married, remember: it is the NOT perfect marriage that is made perfected through Christ
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10