I believe that at the end of our time here on earth, Terence and I will dwell in eternity as brother and sister in Christ, rejoicing and praising God forever. With that in mind, I dare to look at marriage as more than a convenient arrangement designed to make us happy. I believe marriage is a gift that allows me to share my earthly journey with someone who has the same ultimate goal that I have… to glorify God. This gift allows built-in accountability, encouragement, support, help… so many gifts wrapped up into one, for both of us.
I believe it’s important, though, for me to grow into seeing Terence as an individual child of God, not just someone who exists purely to enhance my life and serve me. If that’s the case, I want to also learn to separate “Terence” from “how Terence affects me”. In other words, I want to be more concerned about him growing into the man that God desire him to be, than I am about him growing into the man that I want him to be. Besides, as he becomes who God desires him to be, he’ll be the husband and father he should be. He just will. I believe that God knew what He was doing when He put us together. Both of us at our God-honoring best will complement each other in a way that I’m not sure either of us can comprehend or anticipate yet. Wow!
Just to make the earlier point clearer, I can use the example of Terence’s tendency to be late. After dealing with this for 19 years, I’m completely over it. Annoyed, irritated, and all out of patience. As I’ve said hundreds of times, “I’m tired of him making us late all the time.” But what if I could step away from my emotional connection to how his behavior impacts me? What if my focus was genuinely on encouraging him to be God-honoring in the way he approached his responsibilities. Because his habits are in the way of him becoming God’s-best Terence. What if I didn’t make it about me, but had genuine concern about him growing in this area, to honor God? Because he’s God’s child. And as his sister that will be rejoicing for eternity next to him (hopefully, immediately next to him so that I can smile at him), one day as we’re praising, I wonder if we’ll glance at each other and smile. Smile that knowing smile that we helped each other grow into our God-honoring best during our time of being used by God on earth. And that will be what will have mattered. Not the fact that we were usually 10 minutes late for Sunday service. But the fact that I encouraged his growth from an authentic place. And he was used by God to develop my patience, love, and my gentle and quiet spirit. Those are the types of things that will matter in the end. I pray that I can keep that in mind. This marriage covenant serves a higher purpose. More than the culture or my family history would convince me of. And Terence is more than a character in “The Eardie Show”. He’s God’s son. That makes him my brother. More than anything, in the end, I want both me and my brother to hear God say, “Well done.”