The above title is actually a double entendre, because I am writing today and tomorrow about my beauty, Mrs. Bethany Strachan. We celebrate our one-year anniversary on Sunday. In light of this occasion, I wanted to share a few thoughts on how good God is in giving marriage to us.
It’s incredible to think that the world today doesn’t like marriage. Many people prefer cohabitation or a single lifestyle characterized by much partying and one-night stands. This is amazing. Marriage is hard work, as all of us married folks know, but it is also wonderful. It is, in short, a gift. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to His creation. In marriage, we experience a bit of what God does. We are in covenant with another. We remain steadfastly with them no matter what arises in our lives. Our love is strong and unbreakable. We have bound ourselves to our spouse, and we will not let them go. It is a powerful thing to experience just a tiny slice of what God does in being covenanted to His people.
Of course, our role wildly varies from God’s, because we ourselves sin against our spouse, and thus we experience their faithfulness, their covenant love. We live with someone who must regularly mirror the Father in forgiving our sins. This is a powerful reality. There are times in marriage in which the ugliness of your sin stands nakedly before you. You are raw and detestable. And yet this person loves you, and even cares for you, and even tells you they love you. Marriage, and the love that fuels marriage, is an incredible gift.
Bethany is an incredible wife. How kind the Lord is to give men wives, and how clever of Him to tailor two people to fit one another. By this I do not mean that all couples–or even any couple–fits perfectly together. Some couples are quite different from one another. But all of us can see clearly reasons that the Lord brought this particular person to us. In Bethany’s joyful life, her lively sense of humor, her sensitivity, her reverential understanding of God and His ways, her commitment to fighting sin and honoring her Lord, her appreciation of dark chocolate, her love of a good action flick (tempered by her equally strong love of chick flicks), her zany wit, her concern for health, her love of biblical femininity, her tenacious commitment to me, and so many other things, I delight. I delight in my wife. In these and a thousand other ways, she is a gift to me.
Bethany’s beauty grows each day we are together. We are so young and so inexperienced compared to many other couples. Yet it is gracious of the Lord to bestow increasing maturity and joy in marriages devoted to Him. Just one year is in the books. And yet so much has happened and changed. The married life is not for wimps. Through the challenges and weeks yet passed in our young life together, though, I find myself gazing at my wife. Perhaps other husbands will understand what I mean when I say she has a beauty I cannot quite understand, a loveliness I struggle to articulate. I enjoy marriage immensely, but it is her–my wife–who is the true beauty of this covenanted love.