My husband had given the benediction and I was being the good pastor wife, greeting people on the way out. A young man reached over to hug me and stopped to say, “Whenever I think of a good marriage, I think of you and your husband.” Those few words stuck with me all week.
What did he see in us from two hours on a Sunday each week? I’m rarely seated by my husband and in the moments that we do communicate, it’s usually about the service: who forgot to do this and what I needed to patch up in the meanwhile. We rarely kiss in church, not that it’s uncommon for us but the last thing I want to do is have the man of God lose his train of thought during a message. One Freudian slip would leave me red in the face. Ladies, you know how we do it!
Needless to say, this young man noted something and I can’t take it for granted. I wish he could see us when we are at our worse in one of our “discussions”. It’s usually about some project I want to do around the house and I’m the impatient one trying to get it all done HGTV time, one hour or less! Eddy on the other hand is taking out the scales to weigh the pros and cons. He wants to think it through. I want to “get er done!” Definitely not our finest hour but we compromise.
I’m reminded that our marriage is often on display. Specifically those of Christians and more specifically those of leaders in the church. As much as I would like to minimize my marriage to equate to anyone else’s own, I can’t. God’s word expects us to live a different life as families in this world (I Tim. 3:1-13).
Being on display is not an entirely fun thing. People are looking for chinks in your armor. I learned a while back, it’s better to highlight my own chinks than wait for someone to do it for me. Everyone knows how much of a brat I can be. I’m a Frank Sinatra junkie with the “I did it MY way” mantra. They also know my husband can be forgetful at times and again weighing out things while the clock keeps ticking. Don’t know how we make it work, but we do.
Did the observer see two perfect people or did he see two very different souls, meshed together to become one? It’s my hope that in every God-centered marriage that people see honesty and transparency. That they see God at work in two imperfect individuals. Folks tend to have their own impressions of what a Christian marriage should be. And when we perpetuate these fallacies, they tend to become disappointed in their own relationships. We encourage this fake lie when we are not promoting healthy marriages, imperfections and all. A healthy marriage leaves rooms for mistakes and for forgiveness. A healthy marriage makes space for conflict and change. It is through difficulties that we grow as a unit. We fit like kid gloves now because we stretched into the role of husband and wife. The stretching was painful but the fit is oh so nice!
So let’s dress up that shop window, look handsome, be pretty. The shoe may not fit properly or the hat may be too big for the head. But who cares? You’re on display!