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"The idea here is that close proximity with another person has a way of wearing down the rough patches and smoothing out the blade so that it can be the most useful tool possible."
I have the best marriage. Forget Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Will and Kate. These power couples haven't got anything on Phil and me.
Now, that is not to say that our marriage is by any means storybook, or that we never disagree, lose our temper, or argue.
But the truth is that I really do have the best marriage--the exact marriage that God intends for me. And what makes it the best is so much more than a romance for the ages, or enjoying all of the same activities, or even--ahem--what stays in the bedroom. God has paired me with a wonderful man who desires to become more like Christ. And as we work toward this goal together, God uses Phil’s unique personality, strengths, and even sin to grow and refine me.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
The idea here is that close proximity with another person has a way of wearing down the rough patches and smoothing out the blade so that it can be the most useful tool possible.
God’s design for marriage involves a good deal of sharpening. When we become Christians, God begins molding and shaping our lives. The term “Christian” quite aptly describes what He is turning us into: “little Christs,” image bearers of His Son. In marriage, God wisely pairs us with a person who can chip away at the marble, often by simple proximity. I’m mixing metaphors a bit here, but hopefully you get the point. When we endeavor in a committed, intimate relationship like marriage, situations arise that uncover sin we may have hidden away for years. I am often amazed at the new vulnerabilities marriage uncovers in me. I took a good, solid detour in my college and post-college years where I remained unchallenged by the self-sacrifice that a good relationship requires. Much of my sin lingered under the surface, but God is now using my marriage to draw it out. And like actual blade sharpening, it hurts and sparks fly.
I am not ashamed to describe my marriage this way. It may sound strange, but I actually delight in the ways that Phil and I clash. It’s not necessarily fun while we are in the thick of it, but once we talk through a particular issue I am always glad we went there. Even in my limited five years, I am starting to see God changing each of us for the better.
Of course, it’s not all hard work. We do a lot of laughing, musing, and adventure-seeking too. Almost daily, I discover new depths to the wisdom of God's pairing, and I'm thankful for the whole lot of it.
Join us for the Valentine’s Banquet on Saturday, February 7. You will hear from a panel of seasoned couples in the church about the awesome ways God has grown each of them through their unique marriage.
Meredith serves Cornerstone with the Women’s Ministry and as a Global Liaison.
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