Yesterday I was catching up with a friend who’s been sort of a mentor in my life since I was seventeen. She was telling me about how she keeps running into the same issue with girls my age who are single, who are looking for a “spiritual leader” in a man, but are almost searching for this ideal that doesn’t exist.
She asked me what I would say to them as someone who is their age, but married… and I’ve been thinking about what my answer would be ever since.
Ironically, today I had a conversation with a friend who is 25 and single, and she told me the same story about what she’s looking for in a significant other, and how she can’t find a boy who’s walking with Jesus to the degree that she would like for him to.
By the end of our conversation, I realized that marriage is teaching me a lot about grace — in ways I’d never experienced before. I found myself asking my friend questions like, “how do you measure someone else’s spirituality? Is that even fair?”
One thing Noland and I have always said we need from each other is that each of us is seeking Jesus, and that we’re growing with Him as individuals as well as a couple. But we’re also human, and sometimes we fail.
Noland is a great leader, and one of his best leadership qualities is admitting when he’s in a season of not earnestly seeking the Lord in all areas of his life. I wish I was as good at that as he is.
Going back to the question of how we measure someone’s spirituality, I’m so thankful that Noland (to my knowledge) has never tried to measure mine. I’m so glad I don’t ever measure his. He is my one relationship, aside from God himself, in which absolutely nothing is withheld. He knows all of me… and holy smokes, if that isn’t a recipe for a crapload of grace, I don’t know what is!
All that to say, I guess the way that I would answer the question I was asked yesterday would simply be to tell girls that while they should certainly be searching for a man of God, they will never find a man who is God.
We hear all the time that marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ and The Church — and it absolutely is! I have known love this month in ways I never knew before marriage. But let’s stop and think about this analogy for a minute…
Biblically speaking, the church is the bride. She adorns her groom (Christ) with praise. She honors him. She gives herself entirely to him. And in turn, He leads her. He loves her. He delights in her. He’s crazy about her.
On the 30th of June, I walked down the aisle to my groom. I fixed my gaze upon him and walked straight forward to be where he was…
…and as my gaze was on him, he stood there waiting — delighting in me, crazy about me.
…but here’s the deal: Biblically, one of the two parts of this analogy is perfect. His name is Jesus. Neither one of us is him. We are each sinners, who married a sinner… and our marriage will always exist with the implication that neither of us is perfect.
Thank you Jesus for grace!
And here’s the other great thing about that analogy: with Jesus, every day is a wedding! I loved my wedding, so the idea that every day could be that much fun really excites me. Every day he looks at us and is crazy about us, and all we have to do is fix our gaze upon him. And then we celebrate!
Donald Miller says in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years that heaven will be a wedding. And there will be drinks and dancing. I absolutely agree.
So cheers to the wedding in your life today. May you find yourself on the dance floor often…
…and if you’re still waiting for your own wedding day, may the Lord be continually putting grace in your heart. You’ll be needing a lot of it later.