17 years sounds like a long time. Tragically, the average length of marriages in the US is only 8.2 years according to census data. Woohoo! We have more than doubled the national average! (That’s actually sad to write — I wish that we were up to only ⅓ of the nation average. How wonderful would that be? May the Lord grant repentance and healing in our nation and society that marriages would be sacred and long-lasting!)
Franicia and I are not concerned about beating national or even international averages, though, because 17 years ago today, we committed to loving and being faithful to one another “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Till death. When we made that commitment, I think both of us figured that death was FOREVER away. We’re still pretty young, but we’ve seen how quickly time passes and have even had a few close brushes with death in the past few years.
When we exchanged our vows, we made this commitment to each other and to God, and, by His grace, we have kept this covenant. Our marriage has been a wonderful blessing not only to us, but our marriage has been a blessing to our children too -- and maybe even people outside of our family.
Blessing people and bringing glory to God is really what marriage is all about, isn’t it? Do you remember when in Ephesians 5:31-32 where Paul compares the marriage between a man and a woman to the relationship that Christ has with His church?
Does that passage floor you like it does me? I don’t think that I’m alone in that I often put too much emphasis on the physical -- what I can see, feel, hear, and experience with my senses. The Israelites had that same problem -- they thought that they were good because they were of the lineage of Abraham, but, when Jesus came, he told the Pharisees, the ones who looked “good” from the outside, that they were of their father the Devil! YIKES! Jesus definitely wasn’t pulling any punches, was He?! Their faith was in their bloodline — in the physical. Their faith wasn’t in God. They were religious, but they weren’t spiritually-minded people of faith.
My marriage with Franicia, while the biggest blessing to me in this life apart from being born again, is not about me, and our marriage relationship in about more than our physical relationship. If you’re married, have been married, or will be married, your marriage is not about you or your spouse either. According to the infallible, inspired, God-breathed Word of God, marriage is ultimately about God’s glory and is to be a picture of Christ and His church.
May your marriage and our marriage point others to Jesus Christ. May our marriages glorify God, and may we have the right spiritual, eternal perspectives on our lives and the lives of those around us. May we glorify God and enjoy Him both in our marriages and FOREVER!
Heavenly Father, please help us to continue to be faithful to You and faithful to each other. May our marriage and the marriages of your people be a faithful representation of Christ and His church. Please forgive us when we sin against You and break the covenants that we have made. Please bring restoration and healing to our lives and relationships that have suffered because of our sins and the sins of others.