It’s often been said that A wedding lasts a day, but a marriage lasts a lifetime. While we love the big celebration — two hearts becoming one, the flowers, the matching bridesmaid dresses, crying relatives (and sometimes even the chocolate fountain), we know that a wedding day is just the beginning. The real journey starts when all the decorations have come down, goodbyes have been said, and there are two people left who’ve been joined together for a lifetime. What an amazing, challenging, life-changing experience.
One thing is for certain: The journey is not always easy or predictable, but God has promised to guide them every step of the way.
Know someone getting married soon? Or maybe recently? It’s a great time to remind them of His promises for their life together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (CSB)
“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
These verses remind us that “Two are better than one.” They highlight the importance of doing life together – no longer seeing ourselves as alone. This can be tough for the fiercely independent among us; maybe self-sufficiency just comes naturally. We like not having to run our decisions by anyone. We may enter a marriage after years of living the single life, and that takes a little (or a lotta) adjusting. Remember that if God calls us into a new season, it’s because He has something greater to share with us. In marriage, that means the joy of having a partner, a helper, a constant “got-your-back” teammate. Two people bound by Him have a greater strength than either of them ever had alone.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)
“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
One way to keep a marriage healthy and vibrant is to practice these verses in Hebrews daily. It may be as simple as an uplifting quote or Scripture on the steering wheel or bathroom mirror. Or it might be a particularly difficult season for one spouse that the other can help talk and pray them through. Sometimes it’s about seeing God’s gifts in one another and drawing them out. One of the true joys in marriage is being able to see and speak into one another’s lives in a way that no one else can.
1 John 3:16 (CSB)
“This is how we have come to know love: He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
We know what real love is because “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us,” and we’re called to do the same for one another. The journey of marriage gives us countless opportunities to practice this. Wedded bliss and romantic feelings are wonderful, but the real groundwork of love is laid when we lay down our lives for one another. Sometimes it isn’t about a big dramatic event (though it certainly could be!) but it’s often the little daily acts of surrender and service that add up to a life of sacrifice for one another.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (CSB)
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends….When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.”
The words in Paul’s famous passage on love are among the most recognized in the New Testament. And though we’re used to hearing them often, it’s good to remember that they’re much more than a lovely touch at a wedding ceremony; they’re like a blueprint for a whole lifetime of love. It’s good to keep these verses close by– maybe on a nightstand, posted on the fridge, or somewhere else they can be read often. Reading different Bible translations can give us a fresh perspective when we’ve gotten too comfortable with the words.
Every day we walk through with our spouse can be held up to this passage like a mirror, because every day we have different opportunities to practice Christ-like love.