Think back to the first few days of your dating relationship with your now spouse. It was more than likely incredibly difficult to tell one another good night. As the night continued to progress, you and your significant other anxiously awaited that last moment as you shut the door, got in the car, or departed one another. Often times this departure was precluded by a ritual - hugs, kisses, connection of one kind or another. Then you left. You did it. You each went about your separate ways and then were able to come back together at again and pick back up where you left off - probably having been drawn towards one another in the absence.
What about not that you are married?
When people get married there is this notion that the individual beings that you had spent the majority of your lives as living somehow vanish. Poof. Gone. But, for most of us, the day after our wedding we still felt like we were the same people we were the day before, only now there is someone in our bed. We need not forget this person.
Marriage is one of - if not THE most incredible opportunities we have as humans on this earth to participate in a story of redemption, salvation, and transformation. As previous posts have mentioned, we are often only formed in the context of relationships. So, how do we handle being alone? What does it mean to be alone? Is it ok to spend time alone? Is being alone wrong when we are in a marriage?
The above example about telling one another good night is the perfect example of the power of marriage. In the psychotherapeutic community there is a theory known as attachment. Attachment theory basically says that the more attached you feel to your primary care giver, the easier it is for you to connect with other relationships and environments AND THEN return to that primary care giver. For example - the child that can enter a new play room with a parent/guardian, look around, run and play with a toy, and then return to his/her parent/guardian and not cry is healthily attached. Imagine this in the context of marriage.
The Lord has given us to this earth for a season - this is not our home. While on this earth, some of us has the opportunity to participate in marriage. As we are actively participating in marriage we are becoming more and more who we were created to be (or at least learning how to become). Why? Why is it important to become something more, new, or different? Because one day WE WILL return to Christ and marriage is his way of letting us play. As we enter this world we find connection in those who love us most and then we head off and play. We explore the world around us and experience deep love in the context of our spouse. As we bask in that connectivity we learn that we are individually being transformed for something greater. We are becoming who Christ has said we are - an identity separate from our marriage.
Who has Christ called you to become? What is helping you become that person? How can you continue to become more and more like Christ? Sometimes it means looking at who you are as an individual in the context of the transformative relationship of marriage.