“In his redemptive work, Jesus is both Friend and Lover, and this is to be the model for spouses in marriage.” Tim Keller
After J and I had been dating for awhile, people would ask if I could see myself marrying him. I would respond with this, “I can, and I want that, because I’m discovering that he is the best person to make me more like the Lord.” It wasn’t just because he made me feel complete and good and happy, it was because I could see myself living life with him, the day in and day out. Companionship.
We’re reading through The Meaning of Marriage, and current chapter is on the mission of marriage.
What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us. The common horizon husband and wife look toward is the Throne, and the holy, spotless, and blameless nature we will have. I can think of no more powerful common horizon than that, and that is why putting a Christian friendship at the heart of the marriage relationship can lift it to a level that not other vision for marriage approaches.
A couple of weeks ago, we were spending time together and he made a comment about how I was his best friend. I just about melted, my heart was so full and amazed at the idea that he considered me his best friend. Granted, I would have hoped that was the case because we’re soon to be married, but still… hearing it come out of his mouth was amazing. Why? Because that’s a special place to be for someone. The term ‘best friend’ is tossed around lightly these days, but a true biblical look at real friendship is colored with transparency, constancy, honesty, love, etc.
Spiritual friendship is a great journey, it is rich and can even seem overwhelming. It’s a oneness developed between people, as they journey toward the same horizon. In this place, friendship, there is confession, conviction, truth, encouragement,affection, forgiveness, grace, affirming, honoring, disappointments, joy.
“The inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person–having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
How beautiful is that quote. Not only is it a wonderful gift to have that in a girl friend, having something even stronger in a covenant-promise relationship with J? It breathes so much comfort and security and confidence and excitement into my bones. Because not only can I trust that J will be this place for me, and I for him, but that God is even bigger than both of us, the best Friend, who is always present.
Keller speaks on what it means to fall in love, with a vision for Christian friendship,
“It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be a part of that. I want to partner with you and God in this journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!’
Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.”
This excites me for marriage. A big picture kind of look. God, help me see…