Tomorrow Kyle and I leave for Seattle. We look forward to the scenery and some incredible coffee but neither are our main purpose in going. We will be joining 21 other couples for a marriage intensive at Mars Hill Seminary. After looking at the schedule and doing all the preliminary work we had to turn in (after applying to be part of the conference), I think it’s safe to say they aren’t messing around when they say intensive.
Kyle and I read Allender & Longman’s book to prepare and we are looking forward to Dr. Allender’s teaching and all that we’ll learn.
I came across a passage in the final chapter that tells the beautiful, terrifying truth about marriage and wanted to share it. Enjoy:
As a lovely bride and a handsome groom stand before a well-dressed congregation, after tens of thousands of dollars have been spent to make the day one to remember, no one wants to admit what is true. No matter how mature the bride and groom, they are about to plunge into a desert. They join two separate bodies of sin that will inevitably fail to leave, weave and cleave as God desires. And forgiveness is never enough. Hurt, disappointment, self-protection, blame and division are inevitable. Sin never stops until we see God as he is, and that will only be at death or his return. Marriage intensifies sin. But we know that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.
The scandal of marriage is that it is doomed to fail, and in its failure we are called to be redeemed. Our culture has come to ignore or despise such paradoxes. There are not cures. There are no four, seven or twelve principles, answers, or helpful hints from Heloise or anyone else. Like sex, marriage is a naked one-on-one, full of uncertainty, trepidation, and the call to faith, hope and love—a glorious risk. For those willing to embark on this unreasonable journey, what waits is the garden of God. (The Intimate Mystery by Dan B. Allender & Tremper Longman III, page 100).