It’s been awhile since we have focused on wife-ing here at Beautiful Work. It’s no surprise to me, really. It’s much more natural at this time of life with busy children to focus on them and not focus as much on marriage (even unintentionally). But, focus on marriage we should and focus on marriage we shall! We’ll be spending the next 3 or 4 weeks trying to mutually encourage each other in this momentous commitment in our lives.
This week, we will be recommending books or resources that have encouraged, challenged or inspired us (or all of the above) in our marriages. I love a book called The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle by Mike Mason. You literature lovers out there will enjoy this book because it’s full of rich imagery and analogy. For me, this book makes beautiful the painful and challenging parts of marriage. Andrew and I read parts of it together early in our marriage. I think it might have been a little too artsy/symbolic for him. So, you ISTJs, take heed. You may not appreciate it as much as I did! Here’s a taste of what I love about this book.
It is no small thing to open our hearts and our arms and allow another to enter there, to grant to another person the same worth, the same consequence, the same existential gravity that we take for granted in ourselves….For truly to open our hearts to other people is to invite them into our own throne room and to sit them down on our very own throne, on the seat normally warmed by no one but ourselves. And to do that is to have the throne, the seat of the ego, rocked right off its foundations. Love is an earthquake that relocates the center of the universe.
and another passage that rings oh so true to me….
Like God Himself, then, marriage comes with a built-in abhorrence of self-centeredness. In the dream world of mankind’s complacent separateness, amidst all our pleasant little fantasies of omnipotence and blamelessness and self-sufficiency, marriage explodes like a bomb…. It attacks people’s vanity and lonely pride in a way that few other things can, tirelessly exposing the necessity of giving and sharing, the absurdity of blame…Dragging us into lifelong encounters which at times may be full of boredom, tension, unpleasantness, or grief, marriage challenges us to abandon everything for the sake of love.
For in the first place, love convinces a couple that they are the greatest romance that has ever been, that no two people have ever loved as they do, and that they will sacrifice absolutely anything to be together. And then marriage asks them to prove it. Marriage is the down-to-earth dimension of romance, the translation of a romantic blueprint into costly reality. It is the practical working out of people’s grandest dreams and ideals and promises in the realm of love. It is one of God’s most powerful secret weapons for revolutionizing the human heart.