My pastor here in Chicago, David Whited, served for ten years as a university chaplain and seen many people get married. Here is my reflection on his words regarding marriage:
Many people come into marriage because they are lonely. They believe that marriage will quiet their inner loneliness and fulfill their deep longing for intimacy.
Marriage isn’t about fulfilling your loneliness. Marriage is death.
Marriage is learning to die to your own desires on a constant basis. Marriage is giving up your own preferences for the sake of another, whether it be where you will eat for dinner or what city you will be your home. Marriage is dying to your pride, to let go of legitimate grievances because it’s not worth it to win the argument but lose the relationship.
That’s why so many marriages fail. Both parties enter it believing that it will fulfill their personal desires, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s not even a give and take, a quid pro quo. It’s giving. and giving. and giving.
This isn’t about codependence or submission to abuse or anything of that sort. Those are pathologies. But between slavery and kingship there is mutual servanthood, a self-giving that builds each other up.
We all want unconditional love. Are we ready to love unconditionally?
h/t Scott Erdenberg