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[From Noel] noel portrait1BWIt sometimes amazes me that you can walk into a Municipal office anywhere and buy a marriage license.  There’s no test.  You don’t have to qualify in any way.  It’s crazy really.  Nobody should be able to do something as dangerous as marry another flawed individual without some kind of training.  Premarital counseling is good but it doesn’t remove the risk.  Marriage is dangerous.  Being that open to someone is risky.  Nobody on earth can hurt you like a spouse can.

And what is worse, children get married sometimes!  Julie and I were barely 21 when we got engaged.  Julie has said before that we had no idea what we were getting into and she is right.  By God’s grace we’re in our twentieth year of marriage.  We’ve both said hurtful things to each other, been selfish, and wounded each other with inconsiderate actions.  And living together is no easier, and certainly no safer.  If you are trying to avoid risk, the only safe bet is to live alone.

How do we stay married? So far we have trusted God’s promise that He would never leave us (John 14:18; Heb 13:5) and we remember our promise to each other.  Almost twenty years ago we made a promise to each other, and in turn that promise is making us who we are today.

It’s a miracle that anybody stays married.  I’m not exaggerating!  It is literally an act of God that there is enough grace in two bent twisted human beings that they can live in close proximity and not ruin any chance of reconciliation. If you are still married today you are standing in the midst of one of God’s great ministries in the world.  Through the Holy Spirit, God brings life, and hope to marriages each day.  He sustains them by His word. So where is God at work in the world?  In your marriage!  That’s where!

Andrew Peterson captures it well in this song.  Marriage really is a minefield, but there is hope.

Dancing in the Minefield by Andrew Peterson

I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We got our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We said our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for

“I do” are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard
Is a good place to begin

‘Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

‘Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

So lets go dancing in the minefields
Lets go sailing in the storm
Lets go dancing in the minefields
And kickin’ down the doors
Lets go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh this is harder than I dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for
That’s what the promise is for
thats what the promise is for