Wednesday, August 31, 2016

the soul of your marriage

"Of all the knowledge that we can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important.”
- Jonathan Edwards

Morgan and I sat in the low light of a lovely restaurant, with quiet words passing between us. A jazz band played somewhere around the corner, and at the other tables sat beautiful people, smiling, feasting, and celebrating who-knows-what.

The conversation turned from the the events of the day to the grander topic of our own lives, and to our marriage. My mind followed the trail of our married life, back along the path of pastoring in Austin, then our time in Nashville, through the early years in Austin with babies, all the way back to the beginning.

We have come a long way. 

We began with a flimsy hope and promise to love one another forever.

But you can't know God and stay the same. He isn't just a person you meet and then catalog His characteristics.

God is like a fire in our bones, and knowing Him means becoming like Him. 

Suddenly you find that you only really know yourself in the light of His way, His truth, His love, and His forgiveness. Selfish ways and empty thoughts just leave you feeling burnt up, and you run to Him again and again.

I can't really remember the inner thoughts of the girl I was when I wore a white dress and promised forever. She is a hazy shadow of who I have become after all these years of running to God. 

But I know that she would have been grateful to know her path would lead her here.

After dinner, we walked out into the cold night air, watching cars drive past on the busy street. The city rose up all around us, full of energy, life, and people finding their own way. I love this little gathering of bricks and dreams here in the middle of Texas. A city is more than buildings and streets, it's got a sort of soul.

I sometimes try to imagine what God sees when He looks at all of us. He doesn't see what we see, the five pounds we want to lose, the new way we wear our hair, or the accomplishments that have given us favor at work. God sees our truest selves, and those are made of unseen things, like love and faith and hope. It's easy to forget we are more than skin and skills. The parts of us that will live forever must be tended well.

Our marriage has a sort of soul, too. We look at the outside of our marriage. We see the argument we can never seem to avoid. The way we are learning to work this love out. We wonder how all of that will fold into our dream of growing old together. But God sees so much more. He sees the way our love for one another draws us deeper into Himself. My love for Morgan is supposed to help him find his way home. I forget that too often.

Another car sped through the intersection. I pressed my hand into Morgan's and we walked in search of our car. We have filled our stomachs, realigned our hearts with one another's, and now we long for a place of our own, for rest and sleep. This is the clearest picture of life I know.

Together, we can make it through anything. All this hustle we call life will be over in a minute and then the real soul of our lives will live on forever.

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