, , , , ,

[From Noel]  Author Lewis Smedes wrote in an article published in Christianity Today, “My wife has lived with at least five different men since we married—and noel portrait1BWeach of the five has been me.”  What he means by this startling admission is that people change after they get married. (go figure!)  Nobody prepared me for this reality.  I thought that all I had to do is figure out this one woman – and we had dated for six years before we were married so I figured this was going to be fairly easy.  I had no idea what I was getting into!  We have both changed so much in the past 18 years; some of the changes have been good, some great, some not so good.

When I was 21 years old, I thought that the promise of marriage would be kept by two people who had resolved not to change but I couldn’t have been more wrong!  German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer told a young couple who were about to be married: “It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” People change and often it is marriages that changes people. By God’s grace they change for the better.  In marriage you make a promise and in turn that promise makes you.

Smedes writes later that, “when you make a promise you have created a small sanctuary of trust within the jungle of unpredictability,” and in an unpredictable world, the promise of marriage creates a tiny outpost of God’s coming Kingdom that will not fail to change you.  Marriage is one of the ways that God shows us what grace is. Through your marriage God desires to make you more ‘grace-full.’  That’s why we must never give up.  God is up to something here!

So we have asked a few of our friends to respond to this same question: What changes in your spouse have surprised you the most since you first got married?

Come back this week and see what people have to say about that.