Can I be honest for a second? There are a lot of things that I am pretty confident that I can at least do an OK job at. For example, sports. I have always been pretty coordinated, and if I work hard enough I can get pretty good at a particular sport. Now don’t read this wrong, I’m not saying I am god’s gift to athletics, (although at one point in my life I did think this). But, sports comes more naturally to me than other things.
There are also things that absolutely do not and will never come naturally to me. Immediately, the first example that comes to my mind: math. Oh man! My mind does not work like this at all. I have never been good at being able to piece together something to come up with a definitive answer EVERYTIME. Not only am I not naturally good at math, I absolutely despise it. Why do I despise it? Because I’m bad at it. And this is a common theme for things that I am bad at: If I cannot perform well, I will not like it.
Golf. Hate playing it. Horrible at it.
Painting, drawing, anything artistic. Nope, no fun.
Handy man stuff, don’t even get me started. Ask my wife, she’s better with a hammer than I am.
And this is the common theme for all things I see myself failing at….except for one thing. This is relatively new to me, 17 months new to be exact. Marriage.
Now before you roll your eyes and think, “oh vomit Garrett, stop fishing for compliments” finish the post, because this truth that I have learned is honestly SO freeing.
Emmy Jo and I have been married for 17 months now. I cannot believe it has gone by this fast! It has been the best year of my life hands down, no contest! But there continues to be a theme with Emmy Jo and I that I think is pretty common. There is a learning curve! Like clock work about every 2-3 months we sit down and have to re-evaluate how we are doing. And like clock work we learn that one or both of us at some point is being selfish, lazy, prideful, or not giving enough to make the person feel completely loved etc. The list goes on. This sucks to hear at first, especially from the one person in the world you want to impress and love. And without fail we continue to find these things and areas where we let each other down. Now one year in, this could sound depressing…and I agree with that, but luckily for us we both finish our conversations with each other and always conclude with the same 2 revelation:
1. We will always come up short in providing everything for each other
Now as a man, I hate this. I cannot stand it. My greatest desire is to provide, love, and serve my wife so she will never hurt, feel insecure, or need anything! But as Emmy Jo knows, I continually fall up short.
Same goes for Emmy Jo. She will never be able to serve, love, encourage, and follow me perfectly(although she gets pretty dang close).
But isn’t marriage all about finding that compatible person that can give you everything? That person that is too good to be true. That person where you feel like nothing can mess with your Notebook like relationship. Love conquers all, right? (I agree with that but not a love that comes from man)
If Emmy Jo and I have learned one thing in marriage it is this; the point of marriage is not about compatibility, but commitment.
I stood before God and man 17 months ago and made a promise to Emmy Jo. I promised to love her like Jesus himself loves the Church. Jesus laid his life down, even while his Church was still sinning against him (Romans 5:8). Therefore, when Emmy Jo misses the mark of being the wife I expect, I have committed to her that I will lay down my pride, and desires for the sake of forgiving her the way Jesus showed me how to do so. And Emmy Jo promised me the same thing. Talk about freeing! And man does this make me love her more!
Honestly, I’m learning that mine and Emmy Jo’s marriage is less about me and her being happy, comfortable, and “lovey dovey”, and it’s more about being a walking example of the Gospel. I can work my tail off every day to be the perfect husband for Emmy Jo, and trust me I try really freaking hard. And I still let her down. But because of Emmy Jo’s covenant promise to me, I know that her love towards me is not measured by what I do and don’t do; but it was promised to me on the altar! Praise God!
Emmy Jo can offer me this kind of love because she was given an example by Jesus a long time. Jesus did the same for Emmy Jo and I. He made us a promise that he would save us from ourselves. He fulfilled that promise on the cross. And by dying, he bought our freedom from sin, and gave us the gift of being able to love like Him. All he asked is that we commit to him.
So really, Emmy Jo is simply revealing to me daily that I cannot and will not make it on my own. But I need Jesus. And I the same for her.
So, the revelations: We will always come up short in providing everything for each other.
Here’s the better revelation….
2. Christ came up victorious and fulfilled everything Emmy Jo and I need in himself on the cross. (Galatians 2:20)
My marriage has already been won.