A few weeks ago, I strolled into the kitchen to drape my arms around JRB, and I asked him a simple question, “Why do you love me?” His response, hysterical and typical of Josh, was, “Because I choose to.” Obviously, this wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but in the time since then his answer has lingered. He chooses to. Not exactly the romantic, bring-you-to-tears thing you think of on your wedding day. But, if we’re honest, it’s true.
When the numbers in our bank account looked more like numbers on a scale, we chose to. When I gained 8 pounds the first month of marriage, we chose to. When morning breath kicks in, dishes pile, and clothes go unwashed, we choose to.
It’s easy to love someone on your wedding day or for a sweet date night, but how easy is it to love them when things are normal and sometimes just all-out suck?
This past weekend, Josh and I had the privilege of being a part of some of our best friends’ wedding. At it, the groom (also named Josh. Funny, right? It makes communication interesting sometimes.) shared the gospel himself. It was incredible, and it brought me back to our wedding day when my Josh did the same thing.
During his speech, he shared how marriage is a picture of the gospel, and it is now our responsibility to carry out the illustration. Jesus came down into our mess, lived a sinless life, and died on a cross for US. He laid down HIS life, took OUR punishment out of love for us and for a promise of eternal life with Him. Likewise, in a marriage, the groom comes for the bride. He is laying down himself for her. And as we are to submit to Christ in adoration, love, honor, and devotion, the bride comes to her groom.
This is the covenant that JRB and I made that day in May. As Christ doesn’t turn his back on us- He is faithful to forgive us- so a husband and wife ought to be faithful to one another. When the going gets tough and things get hard and dirty and messy, Christ stays. He remains our Redeemer, our Rock. Likewise in our marriage, we remain faithful and true to one another even when things aren’t fun or good or even just alright. We choose to. This marriage isn’t just a piece of paper we got from the courthouse. It is a covenant that we took in front of our families, friends, and God. We choose to because we are saved by grace and have been shown how Christ chose to.
So, yes, it’s funny that my romantic devil of a husband told me he loves me because he chose to. (Husbands, you won’t always get away with that!) But I am quite thankful that he chooses to love me despite my occasional irritable moods, obsessive cleaning demands, and particular ways of doing things. I am also incredibly thankful that My Father chose to come down in the form of man to save me from what I deserve and to create a place for me in His kingdom.