A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
(This takes some work. But it’s worth it!)
I can’t believe I left out this quote last week! It’s one of my favorites from EE.
Elisabeth Elliot’s advice to her about-to-be-married daughter, in her excellent book Let Me Be a Woman:
…Who is it you marry? You marry a sinner. There’s nobody else to marry. [emphasis mine] That ought to be obvious enough, but when you love a man as you love yours, it’s easy to forget. You forget it for a while and then when something happens that ought to remind you, you find yourself wondering what’s the matter, how could this happen, where did things go wrong? They went wrong back in the Garden of Eden. … Acceptance of [your husband] — all of him — includes acceptance of his being a sinner. He is a fallen creature, in need of the same kind of redemption all the rest of us are in need of….
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently [shortly] He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.
Jurino, minimalist blogger:
Picture yourself as a traveler. Just imagine you’re going on holiday [vacation]. You’re at the airport and notice the other people that are about to board the same plane as you. Now, take a look at their luggage. There’s a backpacker, a gentleman carrying a laptop-bag and there’s a guy hauling the biggest suitcase you’ve ever seen…. Are you envious of one of them? I’d dare to say you wouldn’t like to be in the last guy’s shoes. Who would want to carry the burden of a 60 pound suitcase around for his entire holiday? …While most of us would agree that taking a heavy suitcase with you on holiday isn’t an ideal situation, it’s exactly what we do in real life.
We hunt after more, more and even more material possessions, which we carry around with us for our entire, 80-year holiday. And then… they are rendered useless after all. To top it all off, we’re often jealous of the person who has an even bigger burden to carry. We want just as much stuff as the Joneses, and just a little bit more!
The full post: The #1 reason for Christian minimalism.
Photo courtesy of Sundazed via Flickr.
…O bliss to leave behind us
The fetters of the slave,
To leave ourselves behind us,
The grave-clothes and the grave!
Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroes of the faith. I had the opportunity to hear her speak in person once, and although she speaks quietly and without flare or dramatics, she is the most riveting teacher I have ever heard.
When she speaks about marriage, about surrender, and about waiting, she has earned the right. She waited for several years to be married to her first husband, who was killed two years later. She later remarried, was widowed again, and has been married to her third husband since 1977. (Learn more about E.E. on Wikipedia. And her own website.)
Here are some of her quotes which may or may not be about marriage directly, but all of them have to do with the issues that challenge any committed marriage.
Do you often feel like parched ground, unable to produce anything worthwhile? I do. When I am in need of refreshment, it isn’t easy to think of the needs of others. But I have found that if, instead of praying for my own comfort and satisfaction, I ask the Lord to enable me to give to others, an amazing thing often happens – I find my own needs wonderfully met. Refreshment comes in ways I would never have thought of, both for others, and then, incidentally, for myself.
If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.
[There is] a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world… a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.
This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.
One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.
More good stuff about marriage: What lens do you see your husband through? At To Love, Honor and Vacuum.
P.S. I left out one of my favorite EE quotes! Now you can find it here.