As I sit here thinking and realizing I have not written anything since my initial post I realized it is time. Time for more, more writing, more honesty, more transparency. I chose the title of this post as Marriage of Three for a reason very close to my heart. In May my husband Rusty and I celebrated 25 years of marriage by renewing our wedding vows in a ceremony meant to renew not just our own commitment but also a ceremony designed to place God at the center of our marriage.
I thought it was a good fix for a many times struggling marriage. I had spent most of the winter addressing some lingering effects of childhood issues, had grown closer than ever to my God and was convinced this renewing of vows would be a marriage renewal as well. It was, for a bit, during the honeymoon phase you might say. Then, slowly but slowly life crept back in. Crazy work schedules combined with two people who are not the best at communicating with one another brought our “new” marriage back to reality. Struggles that had been put in hiding during the honeymoon phase came back to me with full force. I sit now, six months after that renewal in a place where I realize there remains a lot of work to do to continue our marriage. I fully believe we will continue, but God has reminded me there is no easy fix for anything. There are so many issues waiting to be addressed. But then I stop and think, isn’t that how it is for all marriages? Does the work ever stop? Does it ever not require maintenance and upkeep?
Marriage as intended by God was meant to be a near perfect unity of man and woman but that intent suffered permanent damage the moment Eve listened to the serpent, before she even bit the forbidden fruit the serpent enticed her with his “this will make it even greater” line. I think in a sense we all live with the effects of that “this will make it even better” line. Our marriage would be better if he were more romantic, if I kept the house cleaner, if we had regular date nights, if we didn’t allow life to intrude on our private time. The list goes on and on. If only we had more money, a bigger house, another car. If only our children were perfect. Living in a marriage where one is continually seeking that elusive “even better” marriage is draining. It makes one ignore the great things already present, it makes one dissatisfied and this dissatisfaction invites the serpent into the marriage. A marriage of three becomes a marriage of four, and in this sense…..four is definitely a crowd!
So how do we keep the serpent out of our marriages? Prayer is the obvious best answer, I know from experience what a difference it can make, but I wonder what are some other ways any of you have for keeping the serpent out of your marriage? My childhood was full of brokenness, my mom married four times, my dad three. The fact I have been married to one man over 25 years is a testimony that brokenness does not have to continue into the next generation. But, even after 25 years the serpent still sneaks around, using old wounds, lies, new sins and misunderstandings to try and undermine my marriage. As a wife whose one true love is Jesus Christ, how, I wonder can I know the serpent, recognize him before he causes more damage and more importantly how can I seal the cracks and deny him entry to my marriage? For no matter what I love my husband and I look forward to our 50th anniversary!