Tuesday, December 18, 2012


There are still so many moments when I'll look at Justin or listen to him speak, watch him walk into a room, and it feels like yesterday that I was falling in love with this guy--that seminary student with the wonderful New York accent. But it's not just yesterday anymore. Eight years it's been. The New York accent has faded. Three kids have joined us. The seminary student is now a pastor. And though we're far from seasoned or mature, we're newlyweds no longer.

I asked Justin this: "What has been wonderful about these past eight years?" His answer was sweet, more than I deserve.

We look through eight-year-old wedding pictures; we were such babies, though didn't know it at the time.

My follow up question to the first one was this: "What would make our next eight years even better than these first?"

There was no hesitation or reflection before Justin's response. "More of Christ."

And I know it's true. I know it's true in my relationship with Justin. I know it's true in my relationship with my kids. I know it's true of life in all it's large and small parts. In our marriage we've been blessed and known much that has been so good. Of course we've known sin and shortcomings too. Like all relationships where two sinners dwell under one roof, we've had to learn how to fight without sinning, how to resolve conflict with grace. But even with all the ways we've been less than we want to be, these eight years of marriage have been blessed.

What would make our marriage stronger? Better? More satisfying? Justin's right. It's not a formula or a method. It's a person. More of Christ. How could that not be the answer, really? More of Christ, the One who brings grace, faith, hope, joy, forgiveness, love.

When we were in pre-marriage counselling, I remember one night sitting in the dining room of my pastor and his wife, and my pastor challenged my then future-husband with these words: "Justin, your wife will need you to point her to Christ. That's what she'll need in the good times. And in the rocky times. And in the sinful times. She'll need a husband who will point her to her Saviour." 

As we mark another year passed, and look forward to the unknowns of the year to come, my prayer is simple and yet everything:
Lord Jesus,
Would you reveal yourself to us? Would you teach us and fill us with your truth and your grace? Would you help us to seek you in your word and in prayer? Would you give us the grace and the discipline to do this together, side by side? Would you free us from sin and fill us with the desire to humbly serve? Would you give us hearts that that long to see your beauty? Would you give us more of Yourself?