I have tried to get extra excited about Christmas this year. Not only am I with family, but I’m living with my son and daughter-ish (our word for daughter-in-law) and they have made this season particularly merry with decorations, baking, holiday shows and music, and even Christmas jammies (well, for her, not him—my son is a sideline supporter). But as magical as Christmas can seem, something else in my life feels far more significant.
If you’ve tracked my life lately, you might think it’s moving into the home we ordered over 15 months ago, which will finally happen between Christmas and New Year’s. But that’s not it.
It’s that my husband and I have reached 30 years of marriage. W-O-W, wow.
“But Christmas Is About Christ!”
Some may protest that Christmas is far more important than my upcoming anniversary, because it celebrates Christ coming to earth. But my anniversary is very much about Christ coming to earth and an even more personal reminder of His presence and sacrifice. You see, I wouldn’t have reached 30 years without God’s grace, which came through Jesus Christ.
I was in a bad marriage that I didn’t think would make it. But God…
No, He didn’t swoop down like a superhero and save us. Rather, the gift of His son showed the way. Jesus showed what it means to have hope, to embrace joy, to love others, and to forgive wrongs. His story of redemption demonstrated that redemption was possible for my marriage. And that acceptance of that path began with me. (See Who Are You Praying to Change in Your Marriage?)
**For those in destructive or abusive marriages, Christ also came to free victims of oppression. **
Christ, Our Husband
We celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter, but how about our marriage to Christ? After all, God is portrayed as our husband, in Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and here:
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.Isaiah 54:5
The Apostle Paul reiterates this relationship:
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.Ephesians 5:31-32
And Revelation describes our final destiny with the LORD as a marriage:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.Revelation 21:1
Thus, my relationship to my husband is a reflection—albeit an imperfect one—of the intimate relationship we have to our LORD. Why, then, wouldn’t my anniversary be a testament to Christ?
What About Your Marriage?
As you come through the holiday season and enter a new year, maybe it’s time to ask how your marriage reflects the coming of Christ. If you can’t think of an answer quickly, this next year could be your opportunity to focus on building a covenant relationship with your spouse that leaves you and others praising the grace of God!What Matters More Than Christmas: "This next year could be your opportunity to focus on building a covenant relationship with your spouse that leaves you and others praising the grace of God!" #marriage @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet
I’ll be here to help point the way.
8 thoughts on “What Matters More Than Christmas”
Love this perspective. Yes, it’s Christmas, which is fab, but I’d definitely agree that the grace you mention is deeply rooted in the celebration or Christmas.
Congratulations to you and Spock on 30 years. Fantastic!!!!!!
We celebrated 26 years last month…God is good; without His leading and guiding I’m not sure where we’d be right now either, but it definitely wouldn’t be such a good place!!
Congrats, Andy! May you have 26 more years of bliss.
And you two another 30 😊
Great column — as are all of your other ones that I have read.
That said, it is difficult for men to embrace the “Jesus is my husband” concept. (Although I get it in the ethereal, It’s not easy in the “nuts and bolts” daily reality.)
Men are expected to “man up” and “take care of things”, while keeping a “stiff upper lip”, while women are encouraged — by society, by their women friends, and even by their husbands — to cast their cares upon their husband with no guilt at all. So, although I agree with your advice and opinions, and even though I do trust Jesus with my cares (at least, to the best of my ability), it is simply not as easy for men to do that as it is for women.
Thanks! And yes, this concept can be difficult to embrace.
This, however: “Women are encouraged — by society, by their women friends, and even by their husbands — to cast their cares upon their husband with no guilt at all.” I think you’d be surprised by conversations we wives have. Trust me, we ladies have plenty of cares and guilt. And we don’t need to decide whether men or women have an easier time. We’re all up against challenges and need God’s intervention in order to prevail.
I don’t have a quick answer, I do have a quick question, How do I build a relationship if only one of us is willing to work at it?
Always feeling rejected, alone.
It saddens me that you deal with that. It’s a common thing I hear. What I would say is that your best option is to work on yourself: becoming a better spouse where and how you can, pursuing health and happiness in your life as a whole, supporting efforts in your church and elsewhere that address marriage issues, and praying consistently and fervently for your spouse’s heart and soul. Some spouses may also need to set boundaries that prompt different decisions for their spouse. For that, the go-to resource is Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud & Townsend. One final thought: If your spouse won’t go to counseling, it can be really worthwhile to go yourself. Of course, it needs to be a quality experience, so choose wisely, but having someone in your corner helping you figure out how to handle specific scenarios and how to maintain a positive-yet-realistic perspective can be truly helpful.
A few other posts to check out (in addition to the many I linked to above):
Healthy Marriages Start with Healthy People
Your Sex Life: What If Nothing Ever Changes?
How the Sexually Disinterested Spouse Feels
How to Turn Your Marriage Around
Stopping and praying for you right now.
Congrats! I pray your 30th year married with be filled with God’s blessings.