This week for our Lenten Sermon Series, Counterfeit Gods, I’ve been studying the soapy, Jerry Springer-esque story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah in Genesis 29-30. Talk about a train wreck of a relationship, yet there’s also something frighteningly relevant about these characters once you get past the Jersey Shore trappings.
Because I’ve had my bible cracked open to Genesis 29, I’ve also had my mind on the subject of marriage. And so, I’ve decided to start another series of posts: Top Ten Things I’ve Learned about Marriage.
I’ve been married nearly a dozen years. I’ve performed I don’t know how many weddings, presided over even more pre-marital counseling sessions and refereed an equal amount of relationships as they were coming to an end. So I’m not Dr Phil but I’ve learned a thing or two. Or ten.
#10: Nobody’s Ready for Marriage
I say this all the time in my wedding sermons, but weddings are about the worst time and place for a sermon (or advice-giving). No one remembers a single thing the preacher says, especially the bride and groom.
I dated my wife for 8 years before we got married. If it was possible for any couple to be ready for marriage, it would’ve been us. We knew each other, trusted each other and had grown up together. We had a solid friendship and shared values upon which to build a marriage and the blessing of our families.
Still, we weren’t ready for marriage. Not by a long shot.
And that’s not a bad thing. Not by a long shot.
I don’t care how old or young the couple is, how much money they have socked away, how long they’ve known each other, how secure their careers are, or how stable their families of origin are.
Nobody’s ready for marriage. Not really.
Because only marriage makes you ready for marriage.
Marriage is a covenant of trust, intimacy, fidelity and self-sacrifice for ever. No one is ready for a covenant like that until they’re thrust into the middle of it and forced to find their way in the dark. No one can be prepared for what promises like that mean in the concrete, everyday moments of leaving the toilet seat up, not forcing the other to play bad cop on the kids and saying I’m sorry before saying goodnight.