I love being married.
Last night was one of those wonderful precious nights where my husband and I laid in the dark talking until the early hours of the morning, our beautiful baby boy sound asleep snuggled between us. I so enjoy those times together, those fruitful discussions, those intriguing disagreements, those whispered confessions, those gentle reassurances and encouragements and affirmations.
My heart melted every time he brushed his lips against our son's forehead, each time he stroked my hair and whispered his love and thankfulness.
I fell asleep shortly before sunrise, snuggled against my best friend (sweet baby boy having been moved to my other side), feeling so loved and so at peace, knowing that there was someone who knew me so well and - for whatever crazy reason - still loves me completely.
It is so clear to me why marriage is a picture of Christ and his bride the Church. I've learned so much about the steadfast love of God since marrying this man who loves me despite my faults, forgives me when I wrong him, and seeks to serve me in whatever way he can. I delight in the same, loving him, forgiving his humanness, encouraging him, serving him, fulfilling my role as his helpmeet, his ezer, his "co-carrier of a burden", his "valiant ally".
I am so blessed to have married a man who understands true biblical marriage. Neither of us tries to "set the rules" or order the other person around. We are blessed with echad unity. Our marriage is an act of continual submission to each other, hupotasso, a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. Always seeking to put the other person first - perhaps to a fault at times! *laughs* It does make deciding what to do rather difficult when we are constantly desiring the other person's happiness.
This oneness, this echad, this unity - it's breathtaking. It is so much more than I imagined it would be. It is not the ultra-conservative church's grossly diminished hierarchy that calls for mere obedience, not the matriarchy at the other end of the spectrum, and not the business partnership of so many marriages in our modern society - God's picture of marriage is so much more than any of that. And I am so grateful.
I love waking up beside this man every morning and knowing that, barring death, he'll be there again when I go to sleep that night. I love resting in the certainty that our marriage will be "until death do us part."
I love that we have such similar goals. I love our differences that force us to think, and the discussions that arise from that. I love his straightfoward honesty. I love that he values my opinions. I love the way he treats me, and I pray that I always do the same for him.
I love, too, that our marriage is so fun. We enjoy being together, we laugh hard and often, we flirt shamelessly with each other. We're pretty much sickening. It's wonderful.
It still strikes me as amazing that when I met him twelve years ago, back in the seventh grade, I knew instantly that God had chosen him for me. He stood out somehow, this quiet boy, and I felt a certainty that I couldn't explain. I had long ago convinced myself I was mistaken when, eight years later, he asked me out at last. Nothing felt more right than finally marrying that boy.
And it still does.