Van Eyck's Arnolfini ~ a Jenn favourite
So, today, a day smack dab in the middle of a series of absolutely beautiful weddings, I went to a funeral.
It was the funeral of a man who had loved the Lord with all his might while he was here on earth, and had suddenly been taken Home to go on doing that for eternity. But what was on my mind during his funeral was marriage. You see, he and his wife, a lovely homeschooling couple, had enjoyed a sweet marriage. Not a perfect one, not an all the time sappy one, but one that stayed focused on Christ and showed Christ here on earth. For a Christian, that is a good marriage.
But today was the husband’s funeral. And seeing a loving wife walking behind her loving husband’s coffin is just all wrong. It is like seeing a person with one part dead and the other part still breathing.
So I thought about marriage. And about my friends who have just gotten married. And about my friends who will be getting married. And I thought about just how serious this whole sugary romance thing is.
Marriage is not about staring into each other’s deep >insert colour of choice< eyes until it feels like eternity has passed away. It is not about holding hands and posting the cutest sweetest “daw” inducing comments on social networks. It is not about love’s first kiss. It isn’t even about spending the rest of your life with your best friend. Sure, marriage can and probably should include all of these things. But that is not what it is about.
It is about saying “I do” to someone with whom you can live a life that allows you to, decades down the road, stand next to their coffin and, weeping, know that you two lived a life full of Christ together. It is about being the person who grew in grace while united to another. It is about knowing that, even if there were causes for regrets, those causes were washed in grace because you two were both being clothed together in His righteousness.
I hate to be a downer. But I do not think that in the long run I am being a downer. Sure, go on. Enjoy the romance and the sappiness and the hugs and the comments. Nevertheless, what I was left thinking about today was what marriage looks like at the end: a woman keeping on living in Christ when her husband is gone, because she knows they both lived completely in Him from beginning to end. Because giving herself to her husband was just another way of giving herself to her God.
Because marriage is serious. Marriage is about the Gospel. And that sort of marriage love is beautiful because it foretells of the real thing: the wedding of Christ and His Bride, which will never end in a coffin.