Others can tell the mushy-gushy marriage story. We don’t have that. Ours is much more a tenacious, cling-by-our-fingernails, cleave-by-grace sort of story.
This day last year marked 20 years of marriage. I condensed the first score in a post called, 3 Lessons for Incompatible Soul Mates. Number 1 was God gives us strong grace so we can share it. Lesson 2: Your real soul-mate is the one you’re married to. And Number 3: Incompatibility is not a deal breaker. It’s a grace-muscle maker.
So I won’t rehash more. Because this wedding anniversary is a milestone too. I’ve been Mrs. Wallace for as many years as I was not.
What’s changed in 21 years- besides those full cheeks and fringy brown bangs?
Easy. I rely way more now than then on God’s grace. Only by clinging to HIs strong forgiving, forbearing, speak-truth-and-keep-loving grace could we have possibly made it this far. And we know this pleases God, because, after all, marriage is really all about that, about how Christ loves his church.
But there have been some quotes that have helped me get up and press on in the last 21 years since we two became one.
These are those: courage-making marriage quotations from those way wittier and wiser than I.
8 Favorite Marriage Quotes
- What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? -Gary Thomas
- Marriage is the greatest test in the world. It’s much more than a test of sweetness of temper…It is a test of the whole character and affects every action. -T.S. Eliot
- Love as distinct from “being in love” is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. -C.S. Lewis
- One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse. Had there been a card attached, it would have said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like!” -Gary and Betsy Ricucci
- The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people. —John and Noël Piper
- I have know many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible. – G. K. Chesterton
- A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers. -Ruth Bell Graham
- The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. – Tim Keller
The T.S. Eliot quote compares marriage to a great test. Well, we’ve failed a lot along the way. We’ve been irritable and downright discouraging to each other some days. There’s been anger and hurt. We still get tempted to lash out and to clam up, to let the sun go down on our anger and keep a record of wrongs and go our own way.
But love doesn’t do that and we love because God first loved us. And God’s love is a tenacious and gracious, steadfast and covenant-keeping love and marriage was made to reflect the Gospel- the good news of God’s great love for flawed, sinful man. Jim knows my flaws the best and on, earth, he loves me most.
I’ve heard it said that to be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.
So today I pray that our marriage is more and more a reflection- albeit a smudgy one some days- of just that sort of love.
May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5