The Wife of Your Youth

June 6, 2012

You might have heard me say that I married over my head and am educated beyond my intelligence. Both comments highlight God’s unexpected grace in my life. I appreciate this reflection by Ray Ortlund on Proverbs 5:18. How good God is. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

“Rejoice in the wife of your youth.”  Proverbs 5:18

It does not say, “Rejoice in your young wife,” though that is biblical and delightful (Deuteronomy 24:5).  It says, “Rejoice in the wife of your youth” — that girl you married when you both were younger.  By now, time has gone by.  Maybe a lot of time.  But nothing important has changed.  She is still that girl who gave herself to you on your wedding day.  She put herself in your arms.  She could not have been more vulnerable and trusting.  Remember that.  Dwell on that.  Marvel at that.

Remember how you used to laugh and goof off and just have fun, because you so liked each other?  You can have that again.  Go back there.  Yes, so much in life has changed.  You both have seen trouble and sorrow, maybe more than you ever dreamed you would.  But you still have her, and she counts for more than all the troubles in the world.  Look at her.  Look closely.  Notice how much about her has not changed.  Dwell on that.  Think about her faithfulness to you through the years, despite your weaknesses and failings, through the many hardships, all by the grace of God.  Meditate on the divine mercy she represents to you.  Let your heart melt again, and rejoice in God and in her.

Your marriage is not a prison, and you have not received a death sentence — except to your selfishness.  Your marriage can be a God-given source of rejoicing.  How wonderful of God that release from shallow Self is a pathway into ever deeper joy with her, as long as you both shall live.

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