A few months ago, my husband and I were driving down the side of a mountain in Hawaii listening to the song, “Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett. (Those of you who dislike country music can cringe now.)
I was holding Hubby’s hand and was feeling butterflies about the joy of marriage and how happy being married to him makes me (most days). It was a rare moment of marital bliss. I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful.
Until Hubby’s voice broke the silence with a quip about how stupid the song was because could be anyone’s all.
Horror came over my face as I realized that my perfect little moment was shattered.
But of course, he was also right.
Marriage is one of the most beautiful unions God has ordained. From the very beginning, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and out of Adam, created Eve to be his wife and companion in the work God had given Mankind. Anyone who has been married for more than five minutes can tell you that it’s not a walk in the park or one big long sleepover with your best friend but there is a sweet union unique to marriage that comes from the deep vulnerability and commitment that the covenant of marriage brings.
But yet, my beautiful, covenantal marriage isn’t enough for me.
My husband is wonderful, but there are some things in my life that, through no fault of his own, he will fail me in. And there are many, many ways in which I fail him.
We are human. Our lives here on Earth are marred by the sinful nature we were born with.
My heart was born with a hole that no person on Earth could fill. My heart was made for companionship and, the partnership and love I share with my husband is a beautiful gift.
But it’s not the end of the story.
Because Christ is enough. And He is returning for us, the Church, His Bride.
One of the rare privileges granted to a military spouse is a unique insight into this relationship. Because of the nature of military life, my husband has spent long stretches of time away and I have been left waiting for his return.
Doing marriage long-distance brings many challenges. Miscommunications occur more frequently due to the limitations of technology. The highs are few and far between because of the distance and lows of fights and frustrations are heightened.
My faith walk, my relationship with Christ is subject to the same frustrations that distance brings. I often lament that Christ is not present in the flesh with us. But we know from His word that there is a good, better plan in place and that one day soon, He will return for us.
I haven’t seen the other side. I can’t say with certainty exactly what the marriage between Christ and the Church will look like. I don’t know the details of the joy that will be ours.
But this I do know, that His return will be like a military homecoming only a thousand times more beautiful than the best one could ever be.
I am looking forward to that day. And I am grateful for all of the days in between where my marriage reminds me of the relationship Christ has with His Church and of my own deep need for my Savior.