Some of you out there may be experiencing the reality that many of us face at this time of year: wedding season. We have a record-breaking eight weddings to attend this summer.
Sadly, since there are only so many weekends in a summer, we’re going to end up missing a few :-/.
I really enjoy weddings. One of the many reasons is because they always get me thinking about our wedding. A warm September afternoon, a light, crisp breeze, the most beautiful girl, and tons of the people we love all in one place. It doesn’t get much better than that. I have always thought of “your wedding day” as a very small glimpse of what Heaven might be like. That feeling where you look around and all you see are people you love and who love you. The love of a community you experience on your wedding day is a blessing. It allows us to experience God’s love directly through the people who surround us.
Besides the great weather and people on our wedding day, I often think about the message our pastor shared at our ceremony. We love sharing it with people — it was a good one. His charge to us was this: have your partner’s best interests in mind, and (here’s the catch) trust that your partner has your best interests in mind.
Let’s un-pack that a bit, shall we?
The first part is difficult enough. We have to think ourselves, “okay, is this decision, thing I’m going to say, action I’m about to take, etc. — does it have my wife/husband’s best interest in mind?” This charge tests a lot of what you say, think, and do. It is a definite reminder that marriage is about both of you.
I am constantly reminding myself, “how does this affect Courtney? Is this how she would want it?” I’ve come to experience this as more of a thought process than a state of mind. It hasn’t been as simple as putting myself in her shoes, or some sort of pair of shoes that we share. Rather, it is constantly thinking about her as if she was a part of what I’m experiencing, thinking, doing, etc. Even after almost three years of marriage, I’m still not even an average-student on this practice because I’m constantly only thinking about myself and no one else. Selfish, much? Yep, I sure am.
The flip-side of this is even more difficult, however. To trust, absolutely, that your partner is thinking the exact same thing. To believe without a shred of a doubt that the things that your wife/husband says, thinks, and does have your best interests in mind.
This is all about trust. Every moment I have to be in a constant state of trust in Courtney that her actions and thoughts have my best interests in mind. I often think to myself, “well, if I’m struggling with keeping her best interests in mind, she is surely struggling too, so there’s no way that everything she says/does has my best interests in mind.” I have to extend grace to her, and believe the best of her.
We live in a world that is all about self-preservation, self-motivation, self, self, self. To believe that someone else is looking out for you too, always and in everything, is a BIG leap of faith. What’s great about that, though, is that it’s not only a beautiful way to experience your marriage, but it is also an amazing glimpse into our relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s why our relationship with Jesus is essential to our marriage’s health, growth, and development.
If we’ve learned anything in marriage, it’s that you cannot whole-heartedly walk through marriage with the belief that your partner has your best interests in mind without the help of the Holy Spirit. It is simply not within our nature to blindly trust someone else in that capacity.
Our husband/wife will let us down and give us reason after reason to not trust that they will have our best at heart. But if we continue to live our marriages like this, they’ll eventually be built on nothing more than a veiled facade of trust. They won’t be built on the firm foundation of trust that you can only find if you let the Holy Spirit give you the strength to make it happen.
God’s love for us is abundantly more than the love we experience in marriage. The best part is that God ALWAYS has our best interests in mind. Romans 8:28 says that, “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” That means that even when the chips are down and you feel like there’s absolutely nothing left, God is still working all things together for good. It is clear in this passage that God has our best interests in mind. Always and in all things He has our best interests in mind … even if we don’t think so.
Getting an opportunity to have a relationship so rooted in trusting love that you believe so absolutely that the other person has your best interests in mind is a great glimpse into what our relationship with God is really like.
Marriage, and our relationship with God are all about truth and grace.