Some months back The Mister and I had a slight tiff, which made both of us very upset. The Mister after awhile told me, “We have only what? 30 years? 40 years if we’re lucky! To spend with each other. The last 5 years of my life has disappeared so quickly, I don’t want to waste any of the time we have together arguing.”
It was his heart’s voice behind the words that made me pause and tear.
His heart’s voice made a short circuit to my defensive and wary mindset meddled by negativity and false models of love and marriage the culture of the world has told me to accept. Marriage is not scary, not hard, not spirit-breaking even if it can mean all that if it is entered into and handled unwisely. I did not need to be as tensed, defensive and offensive with my husband, in my marriage.
His heart’s voice told me there is a sweetness, joy, hope and wonder that we have yet to go deeper in, in our marriage and we should not let it be so easily stolen.
And just as The Mister predicted, the first year of our marriage has ended like a blink of an eye! It has been a time of great blessing, great joy, lots of laughter and wonderful discoveries and we can only credit all this goodness to God, our Lord Jesus Christ. We often say to each other had we met each other two years earlier than the appointed time, we would not like each other at all! But the time taken for us to learn, mature and be shaped by Him has allowed us to be in the position to love, cherish and nurture each other.
I oftentimes get uncomfortable when people express envy and longing for the same joy we’ve enjoyed in our marriage and I don’t want to perpetuate an image that we’ve been “lucky” to find each other. So for the sake of tampering with that uncomfortable envy, I would like to remember that this joy we’ve had follows from a price we have both paid to follow after God. We will continue paying for it for a long time to come.
It has been a high price but we don’t remember the pain because the benefit and reward we have known in God has outweighed it! We cannot out-give God! And in times when I have doubled over in pain and tears (even in the year of marriage), I am reminded that those who sow with tears, they will reap with songs of joy in time to come (Psalm 126:5).
There is no payment we can make that can be compared to what God has done, to redeem our lives from the price of death Christ paid on the Cross. But the price I reference to here is about the rewards of our faith, we cannot pay any price for the salvation Christ has given!
The price will vary for different people. Some may sacrifice financial stability to lead a life that honours the Name of God, some may sacrifice love and a life of marriage, and again some may sacrifice a life of stability surrounded by deep rooted friendships and family structures. Whatever the price may be, the benefit we will know from God directly and the joy our hearts will sing will make it all worthwhile. But we can only know it when we dare to test and challenge God by first paying the price. Don’t demand for the benefits before paying the price! It diminishes the glory of reward that will come.
And so to remember some of the joy the Lord has poured over our lives:
During my Masters in Biblical Studies graduation, in our only so called “matching lover’s outfit”.
Our postponed honeymoon in June, in Hakone, Japan. It was to allow me to graduate and enjoy the holiday without any of the study burdens. He’s looking slightly irritated because my hair was tickling his face.
We had such a good time in Hakone, we agreed to celebrate our ten year’s wedding anniversary back there. If only we could have made it a yearly thing!
We stayed in a hotel and had its specially prepared meals in the room, which excited me to no end! Nothing excites me more than food I have never ever tasted before in my life, and every little dish was a delightful discovery! Sigh… Japan…
The Mister also satisfied with his dinner.
Checking out of our hotel in Hakone to move on to the next location. I thank God for matching me with a man who tirelessly works hard to make me smile, laugh and keep me happy, countering my often dour countenance.
Revisiting xiao long bao in Shanghai, where we had our first date!
May the Lord continue to give us many more songs of joy to sing of!