What I am about to tell you has done more to impact my heart for my marriage (in five days) than anything I’ve heard in a long, long time.
There I was, unsuspectingly sitting at a bridal shower for three of the young ladies in our church. Having participated in a couple of games and eaten some lovely snacks, I settled in to listen to a devotional on marriage. My friend Marie began to speak of the young brides having found “a boy of their own,” which in and of itself was pretty swell. Then she said the words that have been reverberating in my thoughts ever since (and, by the way, making me tear up pretty much every time).
Marriage between two believers in Jesus is a process of walking each other Home.
The idea of someone walking you home has a bit of an old-fashioned romantic overtone, but it also carries an air of familiarity and comfort. If someone walks me home on the regular, I enjoy him and he enjoys me, and we like to do the most common of things side by side. Moreover, that most common of things has a purpose and a destination: I need to get home.
In 30 years of marriage, it is only in the last few (during which we’ve seen our parents go Home) that an expectancy for Home has begun to build in my heart.
Though I have good stuff to do here, eventually I need to get Home. Because my whole life looks forward to the day I get to be with Jesus, it helps that I have someone by my side who understands that. In a very real and simple sense, our marriage is basically a decades-long “walking each other Home.”
Walking someone home isn’t always super exciting, or free of conflict. There can be arguments along the way. You might get hungry, or bored, or frustrated with the mundane nature of the walk. One or the other may want to take a detour. It might rain or hail. It might get so hot sometimes that you fear you’ll collapse and not make it home. Or so cold you’ll just want to lie down by the side of the road and give up. Sometimes, let’s be honest, one or the other of you is just plain annoying and not a good companion.
The good news? It’s a long road with lots of twists, hills and valleys. Over time, there’s always an opportunity to encourage each other along the way. If I listen to the Spirit and ask Him to help, He teaches me how to help make that walk more enjoyable and peaceful.
In the end, I will get to walk Kevin to Jesus… or he will walk me to Him… and we will let each other go. And it will be okay. In time we’ll both make it Home and will look back on a walk we happily took together for a very long time, hand in hand with our compasses firmly set on Home.