Attended a marriage conference a few weeks ago. Yes, a marriage counselor and her husband do that, they also need marriage counseling from time to time, if I’m being honest. Dentist and doctors still get check-ups, right?
Something that was said at the beginning of the conference has remained at the forefront of my brain, so I’m thinking it hit home on some level: “If we aren’t moving towards one another in marriage, then we are moving away from each other.”
In other words, there is no “neutral” gear in marriage.
At first I wanted to reject this whole-heartedly, mostly because I tend to shy away from black and white statements such as this one. But like I said, I haven’t been able to shake it.
So I started paying attention to it, both in my marriage and in the ones that I have the privilege of overseeing in counseling.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: growing towards one another is much harder than drifting apart. Obviously Hailey. This is a sad truth to swallow. In fact, it makes me sad as I type it.
I’d like to say that all we have to do is choose to grow towards each other every day. But it’s just not that simple. We have to choose to grow towards each other at every moment and in every interaction throughout every day. Every text, call, and touch. Every conversation, whether mediocre or monumental. The choice remains the same. Closeness or Isolation. Together or Apart. Teammate or Rival.
I think that is why God was so adamant about calling husbands and wives to “oneness.”
Logically this doesn’t make a bit of sense.
Spiritually, it’s undeniable.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12
Deep down I want to choose closeness with Palmer, but in the seemingly insignificant moments of marriage, raising kids, and navigating life, it is a whole lot easier just to be courteous towards him and keep my heart at bay.
But we were made for more than this, and so was our marriage -there is a deeper longing there. I know this because when we choose to enter into it, my heart is as close to Heaven as it’s ever been before. I feel that “oneness” love that the Lord spoke of, and it satisfies my soul.
We are in a new home. One part of this home I was adamant about including in the design process was the front porch. It’s beautiful. It sets up a ways off of the street, it’s fully covered and furnished with rocking chairs. It’s the perfect scene for building oneness.
Palmer and I aren’t big drinkers, but over the past few weeks, we can be found out there at the end of the day with a IPA in our hands, slowly rocking, sometimes talking, but always growing towards one another in love.
Lord, help all of us to choose this risky, beautiful oneness love with you, and with our spouse. Help us to grow in knowledge of your great love for us, so that we may strive to love one another in the same way.