Tuesday, June 10, 2014

marriage lessons: you are not a laser pointer

As of last week, I've been Mrs. Beckwith for five months. Five beautiful, rewarding, fun filled, challenging, hard, gritty, and sanctifying months of sharing our lives as one. It's hard to believe it's only been five months for us. We've been through a lot already, having to unexpectedly move, make a major car purchase we weren't ready for yet, and facing sadness and grief as my family slowly lost one of our own. We've had so many joys already, with making our new house into a home, celebrating Drew getting promotions, seeing my little blog start to grow, and planning for our future.
Marriage has taught us lots of things in these moments of hardship and joy. Probably the biggest lesson learned is that we are both sinners, and it is easy to note it in ourselves and each other. That's what it's designed for, after all. Marriage is meant to make us holier, not happier.
Yet even in the moments we can see each other's sins so clearly, we cannot let ourselves become a laser pointer.

Every other Sunday we host a group of other married couples under 30. It's a wonderful chance for other Columbia couples to fellowship together and learn more about God. Right now we are going through Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll. We've read it several times, while in the preliminary phase of dating, as our premarital coursework with our pastor, and again now. We love the discussions on the purposes of marriage and how it works, and about how marriage brings us closer to God through sanctification.

Let's talk about that word for a minute.

Sanctification. Root word: sanctuary. We hear so much about sanctification in Christian marriage but how often do we really think about what sanctification really is?

Sanctification is not pointing out each other's sins constantly, shining a laser sharp light on them and yelling Look!! Over here!! You SUCK at this and you have to fix it and I am so frustrated by this about you!

Does anyone respond well to having their shortcomings discussed in such a way? I don't. If Drew were to point something out to me like that, I would be devastated. That would be the most hurtful way he could discuss a topic with me.

And do you ever think of pain like that when you think of the word sanctuary?

Sanctuary. A place of rest, comfort, and peace. A place of respite from the trials and threats of the world. A place to find quietness, and to be freed from the fear of what lies ahead or behind.
Is that what your marriage is? Is that what you're creating in your marriage?

I don't want my home to be one where my husband feels as though his faults are constantly being eyeballed. I don't want him to be fearful of vulnerability because of how I react to it. I don't want to be the laser pointer on his sin that he just wants to run away from.

What I want to be is a safety net. One he can fall into when he is struggling with a sin, and say "My bride, I love you, and I am falling short here, and I need you to help me through it." I want to be a safe person for him to ask if I'm noticing areas of sin he should be aware of. 

I want to be his sanctuary.

And that means not pointing out his shortcomings daily. That means extending grace. That means confronting sin in my own heart head on so that I can be fully able to show him love and respect and support when he is confronting his. It means relying on Jesus to help Drew with his sin.

Sanctifying one another is not about constantly pointing out each and every part of your spouse that isn't perfect. It's about being a heart of grace and peace that they can trust with their sin and can lean on while removing the sin from their lives, and calling on Jesus for the strength together to face the trials that come.

Are you struggling with this in your marriage, or in preparing for marriage? How can I pray for you and your marriage?
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  1. i love the analogy of a laser pointer vs a sanctuary! you run from a laser pointer, but you run TO a sanctuary! what a challenge to always be my husband's sanctuary!
    i listend to Mark Driscoll's sermon series where he talks about a lot of what's in that book & there was a lot of truth!

    1. It is so hard to get the balance right between making sure you do speak up when you need to and not being that nagging pointer. We listened to that series when we were first dating too, and it was so interesting!


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