Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reality: Nine Quiet Years, My Love

It is 8:15 pm on July 21, 2016.  Nine years ago on this day I married the man I can now say I barely knew then.  Standing up at the altar is a much bigger deal than you think it is when you are there.  Years later you look back and think about how you knew so very little about...well, about everything.  The oath I took with my husband means more today than it ever did nine years ago.  Words become action throughout the years when you actually experience the richer and poorer and the sickness and health.

I don't expect my husband to be home for a few hours, as Thursdays are his very long days.  In fact, I haven't seen him much at all today.  This day went on like most others do, serving each other through work at home and away, and serving our neighbors through the daily work we have been given.  I can't speak for him, but my day was full of the regular frustrations and sins - on my part and on the part of our children - and the regular joys and humor - mostly on the part of our silly children.

There was nothing too fantastic about my day.
It was a quiet day as a wife and mother.

In a world that devalues marriage to such a high degree and in such a loud voice, I find our quiet regular day of marriage on our anniversary quite bold.  There is nothing flashy about our life.  We live, we work, we love our neighbors, and we sin against each other.  Man and wife together raising children in a home that is full of laughter (probably not enough of that), yelling (definitely way too much of that), and forgiveness (always overflowing with that).

Sometimes I think I should be doing more to speak out in this world about marriage and family.
Then I remember my boldly quiet life.

Don't for one second ever be ashamed of your quiet, virtually unknown existence.  You are noticed by the ones God has given you in your life, because Christ makes His Light radiate from your very bones. Quiet lives shine boldly in the darkness of the loud world.

The hard work of changing a culture is done one home at a time.
It isn't a work that will garner you awards or praise, and that is quite good, because it isn't a work you do anyway.

When He stood with man and woman at the altar, He knew exactly what He was getting Himself into.  He knew He would watch husband and wife hurt each other, refuse to serve one another, and defy each other's wishes.  He knew He would allow some of the worst tragedies ever imagined to send shock waves through the marriage.  He also knew He would work on hearts through this union.  He would bring husband and wife to repentance toward Him, toward each other, and toward every person touched by this union. He would roll up His sleeves and do the dirty work of changing the culture of sin in that home.

He does it everyday in our home.  Whenever I get a little too proud and think to myself, "Wow, that culture out there is awful," I am gently reminded that He is still working on the culture in my own heart, as well.

And so, our quiet life marches boldly onward.
Happy Anniversary, My Love.
May God bless us with many more quiet years.