The Last Day

My wife and I married at the T&P Station in Downtown Fort Worth on February 1, 2004 and it was awesome. It was Super Bowl Sunday which wasn’t so awesome. The Patriots eked out a win over the Rams in the best Super Bowl ever—or at least that’s what they say, I never saw it.

But our wedding was great.

I gawked as my bride made her way down the aisle—beautiful in white, without wrinkle or spot, stunning—as an epic Andrea Bocelli song rang out in Italian (he might have been singing about cannolis, I don’t know, it didn’t matter). We danced, the food was amazing, we went on our honeymoon, wedding success.

Fast forward to our 13 year anniversary. We ordered pizza, drank wine around the coffee table, and watched the Justin Timberlake concert on Netflix. Good food, cheap wine, and bad dancing (by me) as we mimicked Justin’s moves—the laughter loud, our smiles wide, our love…huge.

I would take my marriage now—that couple eating and dancing in the living room—over the big Super Bowl wedding any day of the week and twice on Sunday. There’s a maturity, a growing in love, that you don’t have at your wedding day, though wonderful and fun the day was. The zeal and passion of the wedding day focused and matured at 13 years.

The love is as deep as the spark was hot.

 

The First Day

Consider how much time and money we spend on the first day of marriage.

We had a photography business before we planted our church, so we dealt with lots of brides and their mothers, and holy Bridezilla! If the bride was a little crazy, the mom was cool; if the bride was cool, the mom was a little crazy—but I promise you, somebody was crazy. And the dude getting married just looked like, “Oh man, what am I getting myself in to…”

We invite hundreds of people into the first day of our marriage, we get a venue, a photographer, a videographer, a dress, flowers, food, drink, invitations—months of planning and thousands of dollars invested in to the first day of our marriage. In fact, the average wedding in the county where I live costs over $28,000, and that’s just a little over the national average of $24,000. The average engagement lasts between 13 and 18 months. We’re planning for the first day of our marriage for over a year and dropping almost thirty grand on it.

What about the last day?

 

The Last Day

In Genesis 23, Abraham mourns over his wife’s death. This is the last day of their marriage.

Sarah and Abraham’s marriage wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t perfect. Sarah endured infertility till she was 90. Twice Abraham allowed her to be taken into a king’s harem because he lied to protect himself. She allowed Abraham to sleep with her servant and have a child by her.

Their marriage probably went through a good decade of strife and division and maybe even a sexless marriage during that time. Her husband seemed to be one of those guys that knew a lot about God but didn’t care to learn much about his wife. To get to the last day doesn’t mean it’s easy or that there is never hard times.

It wasn’t a perfect marriage.

Some of you right now are going through those things in your marriage.

Maybe you’re going through infertility.
Maybe your husband is very passive.
Maybe there is adultery or other sexual sin that has caused great grief and betrayal.
Maybe there is faithlessness and doubt clouding your spouse and their relationship with God.
Maybe intimacy is lacking because their is unresolved conflict or bitterness.
Maybe one of you knows a lot about the bible but little about your spouse.

Getting to the last day is not about having a perfect marriage or even an easy marriage, it’s about whether or not I will commit myself to Jesus in this marriage and see what grace does over the long haul, because Jesus is committed to my spouse and my marriage and will see it through to the last day. The last day is more important than the first day. And Abraham mourns his wife on the last day of their marriage. 1 Peter 3 says that Sarah did good and did not fear anything that was frightening. She was a good wife.

The last day of the marriage matters more than the first.

See one of the beauties of marriage is getting a front row seat into what Grace can do in a person over the long haul.

The grace of Jesus changes you. Over time, as you follow Jesus, as we obey his word, as we worship Jesus, and grow in our faith, we become more like Jesus. In marriage you get a front row seat in what God is doing in your spouse. Too many of us view marriage as a “in-the-moment-for-my-happiness” kind of thing. Marriage is about me. Instead, marriage is about walking with someone over the long haul and getting to see what grace does.

 

The last day of the marriage matters more than the first.

 

How much, already, has your spouse grown?
How much have you seen them grow in their faith, their love for Jesus, their character, their love?
Imagine the next 20 years? 30? 50? Imagine what grace can do in 50 years?
What will she be like? What will he know about God and about you by then?

Isn’t it beautiful to think about?

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