We happen to live on glacial till. I love everything about our property, except the soil. The combination of rocks, clay, and sand creates a hostile environment for anything other than weeds and gangly oak and pine trees. We are all attempting to grow and nurture our marriages in the cultural equivalent of glacial till. Our world is increasingly inhospitable to committed, sacrificial relationships. Not only are we encouraged to pursue happiness and self-fulfillment over sacrifice, but when we faithfully love each other, no one celebrates by applauding our efforts or offering us a cash bonus.
Like the gardeners here in New England, our motivation to make and sustain beautiful marriages must come from within. We have to commit—and then refuse to quit. Regardless of whether or not we feel like it. Regardless of whether anyone is noticing what we’re doing or cheering us on.
Despite the sometimes lonely and seemingly Sisyphean nature of transformation, our Father does not want us to despondently abandon the work or soldier on in grim drivenness. Because he longs for our transformation more than we do, God not only provides us with an example of what it means to love but also offers us resurrection power (Eph. 1:19–20), increasing the likelihood of our success. In the context of marriage, success comes after we work the soil, plant, water, and prune—in faith—year after year. The gradual transformation of our inner landscapes allows us to embrace each other in our flawed states and offer an imperfect, yet oh-so-sweet, love. It’s mysterious but true that the very process of loving sacrificially leads to transformation, not only in the lover but also in the one loved.
Dorothy Littell Greco is the author of Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You. She is a writer, speaker, and photographer. © 2017 Dorothy Greco. Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You is published by David C Cook. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Source : ChristianityToday