Marriage on the Cross

By March 3, 2010One Comment

I can hardly believe it, but in less than a week Ike and I will hit the 7 month mark since our wedding! It’s gone by so fast and it’s been the best 7 months of my life!

It has, however, also led us to a new phase of our relationship. The last month or so has drawn us deeper into what I call the “sanctification phase” of marriage (though I’m not sure this phase ever officially ends).

We’re getting to the point where we’re both a bit on edge, and our little annoyances and quirks are grating on one another’s nerves. Take, for instance, the fact that Ike has had the song “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” in his head for the last 4 days. I know this because he whistles it ALL THE TIME. A better women would recognize this as an opportunity to sing along and worship God while I work in my apartment.

You know when you think about it, marriage is kind of like a dog fight: You take two animals that, by nature, are predisposed to hurt one another and then you throw them into a confined space together where they inevitably duke it out.

Actually, before I single-handedly destroy all things romantic about marriage, let me rephrase that in a less appalling way: Marriage is kind of like a chemical reaction. You combine two combustible substances, they react (some more dramatically than others) and the result is an entirely new substance.

Hopefully you get the picture. Marriage can be tough at times. By definition, two sinners will never mix very well, but by the grace of God He transforms them into something new and beautiful in the process.

That said, as I work through my own sanctification and learn how to love my husband as best I can, I keep telling myself the following two things:

1. Sharon, get over yourself.

2. Jesus died on the cross for Ike’s sins, so stop trying to re-crucify them.

I think the first one is pretty straightforward, but let me elaborate on the second. On the rare occasions when Ike is the transgressor instead of me, it’s easy to feel self-righteous and bitter. It’s easy, not because Ike sins against me so frequently, but because I am so forgetful of God’s grace.

It’s funny how willingly I accept God’s forgiveness for my own sins, and how reluctantly I do the same for Ike. I act as if Christ didn’t already die for his sins, and I must somehow restore justice to the universe by giving him the silent treatment. Sometimes I treat him as if Christ’s atoning sacrifice does not apply.

But bestowing justice is not my job. Nor do I want the same unquenchable standard of justice applied to my own life.

The truth of the matter is that God knew both Ike and I would sin against each other many, many times. And that’s why he had to die. So rather than re-crucify each sin that is newly committed, why not rest in the justice and mercy that has already been accomplished for us?

Jesus died on the cross so that your husband wouldn’t have to. Bearing this truth in mind, I pray that my own actions will be that of a wife who reflects back to her husband the redemption accomplished on the cross. I also pray that I will not be the kind of woman who lives as though Christ’s sacrifice was not enough for my husband, or myself.

**And for the record, Sanctification Phase or not, my husband is incredible. I couldn’t be a more fortunate women!! 🙂

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