Perspective is Everything
Sunday mornings! Is there anything further apart than our idea of what a Sunday morning should be and what it usually ends up looking like?
This past Sunday was no exception in the Stoenescu household. Julian and I ended up arguing about something ridiculous. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t even remember what it was. Mornings like those make me think I’m not good at being married. Maybe I wasn’t meant for it. Maybe I’ll never get good at it.
Afterwards, as we were driving to church, I was silently talking to God.
That’s about all I could muster since I was still convinced it was all his fault.
“Why, God? Why didn’t I get the fairy tale ending? Where’s my happily ever after?”
Then, as He sometimes does, God answered my drama with what felt like a slap.
“You’re so busy complaining and comparing, you don’t even see how far you both have come. You can’t see all that I’ve already done with the wrong focus.”
If it weren’t for the love of Christ overwhelming us, our marriage would never have survived. We each brought so much baggage into this relationship. So much pain, fear, distrust, anger… sin. Our hearts had previously been given to others over and over, as we searched for something to fill our emptiness, and none of those relationships had ended well. Each of us expected the other to make us happy and when we didn’t our pain was the other’s fault. We planted our Garden of Eden with the seeds of hell and expected something beautiful to grow.
He is able to do abundantly more than we could ever hope or imagine.
Julian and I have been together since late Fall of 1984, married since 1989. I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, being with anyone else. He is part of me. Sometimes the best part. But not always.
We are human and we fail often but we are committed to this marriage and each other.
I naively walked down that aisle believing that marriage would make me happy. I was young and thought I needed someone to complete me. When I figured out he never could I took all my frustration out on him.
It seems to me that God’s design for marriage was not to make us happy but holy. Because holy is far more important.
Marriage is really hard at times. If people make you think their marriage never is, ignore them.
Being single is hard too, just in other ways. Basically, life is hard.
Marriage is also beautiful. If people make you think it isn’t, ignore them too.
Julian and I have great times together. In fact, Sunday turned into a wonderful day. We had fun. We laughed and ate and even shopped a bit. Together. We are always together and we always will be. Until death do us part.
Marriage is a covenant. It is forever. Stay in it, as God calls you to, and you will grow and change and find joy. God knows best. He can be trusted.
I was thinking about all of this as I was pushing my one-year-old grandson in his stroller this morning.
He and I went for a walk and if you know me then you know walking for the sake of exercise is something I often avoid. But this morning was different. Instead of focusing on the work of trudging up and down hills, I watched as Bear oooo’d and ahhhh’d over the scenery.
“Ooooooooo,” as he pointed to the hawk in the bright blue sky.
“Aaaahhhhhhhh,” as he pointed to the deer in the road ahead.
“Bagda, bagda, baaaagdaaaaa!” which I can only assume is pure, general delight.
Everything seemed to amaze him and my neighborhood in the Texas Hill Country never looked so beautiful to me. The dog barking, the trees and leaves swaying in the wind, and the tall green grass growing everywhere after the recent rains held an awesome wonder when seen through his eyes.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3
Enjoying the view rather than complaining about the journey made me forget how far we had gone. It was a long walk but with the right focus it was enjoyable.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
The word teaches us so much about how to live this life on earth if we’d just apply it rather than only read it. If you’ve ever thought that God’s Word is out-of-date, restrictive, or frivolous you couldn’t be more wrong.
God’s word is alive, powerful, and brilliant. If believed, it’ll give you the right perspective. If applied to your life, it can bring heaven to earth. If lived out, God’s word will bring bliss, wedded and otherwise.