Marriage is a mystery. Two individual people with different pasts, experiences, personalities, and lives becoming one. How does that work again? We point to the mystery by mixing sands or lighting a fresh candle with two individual candles, but they are only symbols. Marriage is deeper and more profound than a vase of sand or a new candle. It’s a shifting entity created by two people that grows and transforms and moves. Unlike a vase of sand that sits on a shelf, it requires work and conversations and diligent upkeep to keep alive.
My goose loving friend Tom married his dream goose Meg this past weekend. They proclaimed promises of love and commitment surrounded by their friends and family, and with a pair of rings and a long kiss their journey of marriage began. I am so happy for them.
It doesn’t surprise me that we live in a generation that struggles to commit to marriage. When I think of marriage I get the same hollow feeling in my stomach that I did when Jesus’ words of surrender first rang true for me. I was laying on the bottom bunk in a hostel reading the bible, and the words “for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” were grasped in a whole new way. Goosebumps raised on my arms, and I felt the intensity of these words. They are not light words. Following Jesus meant that I was going to give all of me to Jesus. Marriage is based on this same principle of selflessness. That’s why it isn’t a coincidence that the married say that marriage has made them more like Jesus.