By Jay Lippy (infamous husband and gift-giver to Phyl)
Have you ever thought about the name of this blog and what it might really mean?
I think it is a great name and it is probably what most every one of us hopes for … a marriage that is made in heaven. Kind of has a nice ring to it, does it not?
But think about it for a moment – what is marriage? And if it is truly made in heaven, is it possible to have it right here on earth? Okay, so now I’m going to get personal real fast … what has your experience in marriage been? Has it been one ongoing party like it was the night of your wedding? Has it been one continuous stream of bliss and joy like the first few months after the wedding? Really, what have the years been like for you? Has your marriage reflected the hope of heaven? Has it been refreshing and scented with the fragrance of angels as they played their harps?
If you said yes, then please make some room for me because I am coming right over as I need a mentor who can teach me how to have that kind of a relationship! (By the way, if you said yes, you are probably the very same people who profess to have never had an argument with your spouse. To be candid, those people just freak me out of my gourd! I don’t mean to be mean, but they are either not telling the truth, they don’t have enough passion, or they don’t have an opinion worth defending.)
I’ve officiated more wedding ceremonies of starry eyed lovers than I can recall and then a few years later listened to heart breaking tales of marriages that were meant to be “made in heaven” but what seemed like the pits of hell. I’ve heard tender promises of enduring love expressed while couples stood in front of family, friends, and the hosts of heaven and then in my office listened as one-time lovers tear each other’s hearts apart because they are tired of being hurt, ignored, and disappointed by unfulfilled promises. Made in heaven? Perhaps the intention of marriage might be, but why then can the daily grind of life on earth tarnish what has so much promise?
Can a marriage made in heaven? I’m really not asking a rhetorical question.
I fully realize that your marriage is none of my business, but it should be your business. Are you and your spouse being intentional about it? Are you both working on it? God is very interested in your marriage because He loves you and cares deeply about the condition of one of the most significant institutions He ever established.
After being married for nearly 34 years, I’ve learned that marriage unveils what I try to hide – that I am a fallen individual and I have issues. I am a sinner, I have flaws, and sometimes I do and say things that are just downright mean and hurtful. I’ve learned that marriage uncovers my weakest areas and reveals to my family that in spite of wanting to get it right, I still seem to get many things wrong. I’ve come to realize that being married is just about the hardest thing I have ever had to do because when I stand and speak in public, I can’t hide the truth from the one person who knows everything about me in private – my wife.
Have you had enough reality yet? Let me throw one more dose at you before we end this little love fest. In the midst of this grind, grace and forgiveness still exist. A marriage made in heaven, to me, means that because of an intimate walk with Jesus Christ I can learn how to extend kindness to the person I sleep with, live with, walk with, am hurt by, and disappointed by, am failed by, am inspired by, encouraged by, loved by, and challenged by. Because I have experienced mercy from the courts of heaven when I should have encountered justice, I can embrace the one with whom my heart rests. I choose to be married, I choose to embrace, I choose to cover up my lover’s faults, I choose to allow God to use me to rescue her from her fallen peril, I choose to endure, I choose to be the man who stands in the gap for her when no one else will. I will not turn back, I will not give up, I will not allow my pride to prevent God from using me to help my soul mate be the woman he created, called, and equipped her to be. I will not allow my best friend’s short comings to short-circuit my vow to God to love her and cherish her till death do we part.
What does a marriage made in heaven look like? One that is full of forgiveness, hope, and something we could never be on our own.
God bless you!