Gary Thomas once wrote of an epiphany he had as a young
husband after getting extremely frustrated that his wife continually failed to
refill the ice-trays. He talks about realizing that he too can fill up trays.
He then writes
“That's the day I
discovered the truth about marriage: Marriage holds up a mirror to my sin. It
forces me to face myself honestly and consider my character flaws, selfishness,
and anti-Christian attitudes—even with something as trivial as ice cube trays.
Being so close to
someone—which marriage necessitates—may be the greatest spiritual challenge in
the world. There's no "resting," because I'm under virtual 24-hour
surveillance. Not that Lisa makes it seem like that—it's just that I'm aware of
it. Every movie I rent is rented with the understanding that I'll watch it with
Lisa next to me. Every hour I take off for recreation is an hour that Lisa will
know about. My appetites, lusts, and desires are in Lisa's full view.”
I agree. It's not so much about having someone watching over you like a prison guard. Not at all. It's about having a full-time partner on the discipleship journey. And, Emily offers me the greatest insight into who I really am from outside myself. In my own opinion, I'm a fantastic, virtually flawless guy 🙂 She gets to see me behind the scenes, and knows me better than anyone other than the Lord. Yet, I know she loves me and means me no harm. She provides the 'round the clock observation of my emotional and spiritual well-being that gives her unique insight into how I'm doing day-to-day. Our relationship provides fertile ground for spiritual growth within the context of marriage. She can speak and do encouragement and challenge with utmost credibility.
It's good to listen to those who know you best and you are convinced want you become everything you can be. Married or not, it's good for me to have some guy friends in this realm too. But, none of them will have the access (and thus, insight) into my emotional and spiritual well-being that she does.
Yet one more reason to thank God for Emily 🙂 and for the gift of marriage.