Learning to Love Through the Disappointments of Marriage

Saturday Evening Musings

1 Marriage ImageGreat marriages are built not by perfect circumstances or perfect people, not be perfect bodies or perfect sex, not by perfect communication or perfect sensitivity, but by couples who learn how to love one another through the disappointments of life.

Every marriage has its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows. Every marriage has its challenges and obstacles. But it is disappointment, the contrast between the dream of what we thought it would be and reality, between the ease that we thought it would be and the work that it actually is to love another sinner that can crush a spirit and pollute the interaction of two people who vowed to love one another.

It is hard work to apply Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” But Paul gives the secret to doing the command with the last phrase of the command. There is power in the words, “as God in Christ forgave you.”

Everything in the Christian life and hence everything in marriage travels on the pathway of the cross. It is the view of how much we have been forgiven, how much we have been loved, how much Another endured for us that fuels our passion to live in the same way for others and makes us tenderhearted and kind toward the one who has disappointed us in little and large ways.

Earlier today I learned that one of my former students from my days as a prof in California, a fun and godly man, a life-long youth pastor and visionary, a man committed to representing Christ to the poorest and least privileged kids in his community, a man loved by all was killed, along with his precious wife in a head-on collision with another vehicle that had entered the highway driving in the wrong direction.

It is a tragic loss for his family, the body of Christ, for all those who have been impacted by them as a couple, and the community that he served and loved. But in reading the tributes to Ty and Terri Schenzel, over and over and over again, it was thrilling, sometimes through tears, to read of how hard they worked to make their marriage a joy to one another and to everyone who knew them, and how successful they were!

Person after person, couple after couple, young and old, gave tribute to the beauty of a life, (two lives), lived for the glory of Christ by the power of His Spirit, and the guidance of His word. Please pray for Ty’s and Terri’s family. They have a great hole in their hearts. God is filling the hole with the joyous memories of a two lives lived for Him but the hole will fill slowly till one day they meet again in the glory of the eternal life promised to all who believe (2 Timothy 1:1).

The life and ministry of Ty and Terri Schenzel

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