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This Post By Vanessa Sanders Pham

God doesn’t bring our spouses into our lives to bring us immediate happiness, completeness and bliss. He brings them into our lives because, usually, they bear opposite strengths and weaknesses from us. This is due to God’s wise, ‘sneaky’ plan of building character within us and our partner.

In the early years, we see and appreciate the strengths in our partner. In the later years, the weaknesses become more apparent. This is when we must realize the opposite strengths in our partner while recognizing the weaknesses within ourselves – rather than only seeing the strengths within ourselves and the weaknesses within our partners, which is what many of us tend to do. As a team, partners must rely on one another; they must observe and learn from one another in the light of God’s truth and guidance, and this is not easy. It calls for patience, prayer, and perseverance. One of my favorite lyrics is “One” by U2 because it so accurately, more than any other song I’ve heard, describes the marriage partnership:

“One love

One life

When it’s one need

In the night

One love

We get to share it

Leaves you baby if you

Don’t care for it.”

To me, “caring” for a partnership means to work at it, and when you don’t work at staying with your partner, with whatever sacrifices that might require (time, forgiveness), the love leaves the relationship. Yes, LOVE must be a conscious effort after the “honeymoon” phase has passed.

Once we realize that marriage will inevitably bring adversity and is not supposed to be perfect because none of us, nor are partners, is perfect, and we realize instead that marriage is about learning and growing through the adversity (while also enjoying life-long companionship), maybe we will be more patient with our spouses and more forgiving of ourselves. Maybe we will be willing to make the sacrifice of “carrying each other” rather than only carrying ourselves and expecting our partners to carry themselves. In reality, we need each other, and isn’t that a big reason we married in the first place? The Bible says that, when married, partners are one flesh. We are united, bound to each other forever, through the pleasant and unpleasant times.

“Did I disappoint you?

Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?

You act like you never had love

And you want me to go without

Well it’s

Too late

Tonight

To drag the past out into the light

We’re one, but we’re not the same

We get to

Carry each other

Carry each other

One.”

I think of Siamese twins, always bound together bodily but with separate minds. You know they must get so tired of being attached to each other, and each one must make sacrifices for the other – they must go where the other wants to go and wait on the other one. They both long to be independent yet must rely on one another. They must literally “carry” each other. It is no different in the marriage partnership.

“We’re one

But we’re not the same

Well we

Hurt each other

Then we do it again

You say

Love is a temple

Love a higher law

Love is a temple

Love the higher law

You ask me to enter

But then you make me crawl

And I can’t be holding on

To what you got

When all you got is hurt, but

One love

One blood

One life

You got to do what you should

One life

With each other

Sisters

Brothers

One life

But we’re not the same

We get to

Carry each other
Carry each other

One.”

When adversity comes, carry each other. That is the beauty and lasting strength of love.

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