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.