It’s a conspiracy!
In life we tend to surround ourselves with people who are like us. The metric we use may vary depending upon our situation; it could be nationality, language or ethnicity. Where we are part of the majority the divisions may be along financial, religious, idealistic or any number of other lines.
And then we spoil it all by getting married!
Why are opposites so attractive? It has often been said that men seem to be from Mars and women from Venus. Add our personal brokenness into the equation – all our flaws and failings – and you have a recipe for all out conflict. What was God thinking when he designed marriage?!
In Love and War, John and Stasi Eldredge describe marriage as a divine conspiracy. They write, “It is a conspiracy divinely arranged and with divine intent. God lures us into marriage through love and sex and loneliness, or simply the fact that someone finally paid attention – all those reasons why you got married in the first place. It doesn’t really matter, he’ll do whatever it takes. He lures us into marriage and then he uses it to transform us.”
Transformation! Now there’s a concept that seems somewhat at odds with the prevailing thinking. Rather than being purely about our happiness and the satiation of our desires, marriage is a means by which our character, like a sheet of twisted metal, is bent and beaten until it conforms to a more delightful pattern.
The way we live our daily run-of-the-mill lives, the way we relate and respond and the way we approach a problem; all these are shaped and chosen in the context of our failings. Carefully selected, albeit subconsciously at times, to make life tick yet simultaneously protecting our broken heart.
And the truth is, as glorious and wonderful as the concept of transformation sounds, it is not pleasant. It is painful. And slow. A beautifully smooth pebble on an idyllic beach didn’t start that way. It was the storms, with high-winds and surging tides, the friction and head-to-head collisions that took a sharp, angular piece of rock and moulded it into its soft, strong and pleasing form.
Is your marriage hard work at times? It was never designed to be easy. A jagged stone may spend time on the beach enjoying the warmth of the sun, but sooner or later another tide will come to help knock your corners off. You have within you a beauty far too precious to be left concealed.