Marriage is the union of one man to one woman, til death do they part. This will involve highs and lows, challenges and times of easy sailing, love and loathing nearly guaranteed.
We often perceive our marriages as a bubble for two, what happens in the bubble is between the 2 people who occupy it. The decision to participate in marriage includes love, honor and mutual respect to stay the course. Yes, this is all good, but it is incomplete.
I have come to understand from my own life experiences and from the Word that being married comes with hidden responsibilities that God has designed. It requires us to get out of our "me" or "us" bubble and become aware of how living out our commitment affects the world around us.
It is the hidden responsibility of leadership through marriage.
While marriage is a picture of Jesus' love and devotion to the church and his design for the church to be his bride, that picture is also a picture of leadership and influence for how to live.
So when we are challenged in our marriage, maybe to the point of deciding to leave it, we must stop and remember that the decisions we make will influence others who are watching and looking for examples of how marriage can work.
We have been married for 28 years, and we met in high school. So needless to say, we both have done a lot of growing up. But there are times when we bicker and even worse so that a wedge is created between us. Most recently, I had to approach my husband with my tail between my legs for something I had said, but hadn't realized was as hurtful as he had received it to be.
God impressed upon me the importance of apologizing and asking for forgiveness from him, because it first and foremost would restore our communication and repair hurt feelings. But aside from preserving our marriage for our family, I had the enormous revelation that the players he manages and their wives I spend a great deal of time with, are silently watching us so that they can remain confident that marriages in sports really can and do endure.
I am humbled to think that two imperfect people such as us, who by virtue of keeping their commitment, have the opportunity to influence other lives beyond the years we are even alive on this planet.
No matter if you have been married for a short amount of time, or most of your lengthy adult life like us, marriage is a platform of responsibility and influence. You never know who you will positively impact by honoring the commitments you made to your spouse....for better or for worse.