Marriage: What I’ve Learned at 30 Years (Part 3)

coffee33.jpgWe had two small children.  My wife, Charlotte, stayed at home with them.  I was working with a church that was a wonderful place to be but in many ways was consuming me.  (I don’t mean for this statement to be a reflection on that church.  Rather, it had more to do with my inexperience and the expectations that I had for myself in ministry.  Some of these expectations were completely unrealistic.)

Money was tight.  I felt incredibly behind in my work.  Our children, being small children, needed a lot of time and energy.  These were exhausting times in many ways.  I say this not complaining but just recognizing that this was a time of life that took much energy and time.  Looking back, I can see that I really underestimated just how hard and demanding this time of life was for my wife.

Later, we moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and then Waco, Texas.  Our children would spend most of their "growing up" years in Waco.  

During those years of being a family and being a married person, I probably tended to think that marriage was primarily about personal happiness.  In particular, I wanted to make sure my spouse was happy.  It would be many years before I realized that God was using our marriage to shape us into a certain kind of people.  (Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Marriage was very influential in my thinking on this point.)  Yes, marriage brought joy, friendship, companionship, etc.  However, it brought a purpose much larger than ourselves.  It is that purpose that makes all the difference in how we live as married people.     

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6 thoughts on “Marriage: What I’ve Learned at 30 Years (Part 3)

  1. I loved the book Scared Marriage too.  It really had a special view of marriage that is counter to the common view in America.

  2. I think the things that have shaped my life the most are trials. It has been through the hard times that I have seen the beauty of Christ and the beauty of the life He has given us. I have even seen the beauty of suffering and the wonder of love. ….the wonder of all that our triune God is…..the thing that makes this life so wonderful is growing in my knowing Him and his glory. It is so rich to enjoy Him.(hmm, this was supposed to be a comment on your other post!)

  3. I feel like you sort of leave us hanging here. Am I dense? Do you assume that I should know what that "larger than ourselves" purpose is? Did you think it would be too blatant to just come out and say it?
    Will there be a part 4 in which you describe it? It would be really interesting to hear from Charlotte and how she views not only your 30 year marriage, but her views on your views of the last 30 years…Any chance of that?

  4. Kim,Good questions.  Hopefully by the time I am finished with this series, there will be some answers to at least some of the questions you raise.While Charlotte is reading these reflections, I haven’t asked her to comment.  That might be fun–especially near the end of the series.  I will check with her.