I don't have a choice, but I still choose you.Our marriage is strong, and our genuine love and appreciation of each other is solid. It's actually quite life giving to me. Yet … it is complicated.
We have personality issues. We have gender issues (men really ARE from Mars, I am convinced). And we most certainly have sin issues. From multiple angles, the goal of two distinctly different people coming together to live as one seems hopeless without supernatural help. But somehow, when the Spirit enters the picture, the whole of our marriage becomes much more than the sum of its parts. It is indeed supernatural.
Love is the gas and grace is the oil that keeps the distinct moving parts of our marriage working together without the type of friction that destroys the machine. But there is a another analogy that may better reflect my experience in my own marriage. It's a rock tumbler – that thing that takes dull crushed rock and turns it into beautiful gemstones.
Some couples seem to be intrinsically unified about an unusual number of topics. They just think the same. That's completely foreign to me, because my husband and I come to almost every topic from very different angles. Yet, we have both noted how UTTERLY NECESSARY our distinct differences were to becoming the people we are today. “You make me want to be a better man,” Jack Nicholas says in As Good As It Gets. And that has been our experience. The differences have shaped and polished us.
Sometimes, the differences caused resentment. Sometimes I in particular have chafed against them. Life would be so much easier if we naturally thought alike, wouldn't it?! Easier, yes. But I'm coming to embrace and value what the struggles have meant for my transformation. For my polishing. Yes, our fourteen years have had their share of struggles that felt like rocks bashing against each other. Yet on the other side, we have transformed in the tumbler.
It's complicated. And it's not easy. But it is good. And THAT is a supernatural working of a 3rd party, who is in our marriage though so often undetected. He has made us much more than the sum of our parts.