King James Version (KJV)
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth,
and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
“A marriage, or a marriage partner, may be compared to a great tree growing right up through the center of one’s living room. It is something rooted and grounded in love, that is just there, and it is huge, and everything has been built around it, and wherever one happens to be going—to the fridge, to bed, to the bathroom, or out the front door—the tree has to be taken into account. It cannot be gone through; it must respectfully be gone around. It is somehow bigger and stronger than oneself. True, it could be chopped down, but not without tearing the house apart. And certainly it is beautiful, unique, exotic: but also, let’s face it, it is at times an enormous inconvenience. So there are many things that can be said about one’s life mate, but finally, irrevocably, the one definite thing that needs to be said is that he or she is always there. And that, while it may be common enough in the world of trees, is among us human beings a rather remarkable state of affairs.
Marriage is the most persistent and ineluctable reminder of the presence of other people in the world: that they are there, that they are real, and that they are wildly different from the imaginary beings who normally fill our thoughts and fantasies. To be married is to be confronted intimately day after day with the mystery of life, of other life, of life outside of oneself. This is not the life of existentialism or of metaphysics or of Zen. It is more intrusively personal than Zen. It is life, human life as one has never seen it before, at closer range than one ever thought to get. The loved one simply is there, in a way that no other living thing in the world except oneself has ever really been there before. Even parents do not intrude and impinge upon one’s adult life the way a spouse does, and it can be rather a surprise to discover that one is, after all, not alone. At night, in the morning, naked, over meals, in bath, and in bed, the partner is always there, there in body or there in spirit, there at the back of the mind and there in the pit of the heart.
Although day-to-day married life may seem as natural and almost as automatic as breathing, yet there is a way in which the two partners never really do get used to one another, not in the way they are used to breathing. As autonomic, as tedious, as dreary as a marriage can become, there is nevertheless something in it that defies being taken for granted. The whole course of a couple’s life together is fated to share that same odd quality of perfect naturalness united with perfect awkwardness—second nature combined with utter novelty—that characterized their first lovemaking. In the long run what is most uncanny about marriage is not any sense of growing familiarity and comfortableness with the enormous reality of this other presence in one’s life, but rather just the opposite: the growing strangeness. As the years roll by, all that happens is that the puzzle of time is added to the original enigma of love. Ten years, thirty years, fifty—it becomes more and more imponderable. There is just something so purely and untouchably mysterious in the fact of living out one’s days cheek by jowl under the same roof with another being who always remains, no matter how close you manage to get, essentially a stranger. You know this person better than you have ever known anyone, yet often you wonder whether you know them at all. The sense of strangeness increases, almost, with the depth and security of the loved one’s embrace.
What is this alien, unknowable place at the very heart of the one we love? Probably it is the place of our own familiarity with another factor, which is that in each one of us the holiest and neediest and most sensitive place of all has been made and is reserved for God alone, so that only He can enter there. No one else can love us as He does, and no one can be the sort of Friend to us that He is. Forming a relationship with us that is far deeper than anything we can possibly know among people is the way God has of challenging and inspiring us to yearn for this same divine depth in all of our human friendships. Were it not for the profound and intuitive knowledge of the Lord in our hearts, we could not know what depth of relationship is and would never miss or long for it on the human level. And so the very distance we feel from the person we love most dearly may be, paradoxically, a measure of the overwhelming closeness of God.”
Mason, Mike. The Mystery of Marriage 20th Anniversary Edition: Meditations on the Miracle (pp. 44-45). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
How is the Lord teaching you about yourself through the limits He has placed on your marriage relationship?
How do you go about incorporating your life together in Christ?
How is He making you one?
What would you like the purpose of your marriage to be?
How do you draw strength to forgive and forge ahead?