My Treasured Daughters,
“‘Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.'” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)
Yesterday, I sat for a few moments in the shade of our honey locust tree while baby boy napped and watched you play “wedding.” You were, of course, princesses, who would be marrying princes–we’d just finished a swim in the pool, so you both draped beach towels around yourselves to act as skirts & capes. I watched and remembered my own imaginary weddings I had planned and executed with my elementary friends. This letter will be the first, I pray, of many the Lord will allow me to write to you as there is much that premarital counseling & books doesn’t tell you of marriage.
After Jesus, your daddy is the best decision I ever made. But, though I chose the date we wed, my dress, his tux, each flower for my bouquet, and the earrings worn by my bridesmaids, I did not choose him; He was chosen for me, and I for him.
In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis writes about friendship,
“…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends, ‘Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.'”
Though, Lewis writes about friendship, the same holds true for marriage. God chose Mark and I one for another. Now, this may not seem more significant than simply a turn of a phrase. After all, regardless of who chose, we are married now. But, recognizing that God handpicked your husband is critical for the well-being of your marriage. Recognizing that every good gift is from the Father is essential.
Because when the honeymoon is over, and he leaves his dishes near the dishwasher instead of inside it, I may be tempted to grumble. When his entrepreneurial drive requires sacrifice, and owning a business demands flexibility of schedules and expectations, I could get cranky.
But, when I acknowledge that he was chosen for me, I must, then, recognize that my grumbling and cranky faces are not against my husband, but against the one who chose Him for me.
If your husband was chosen for you not by you, you must gladly submit under God’s mighty hand–every late work night and every frustrating trait are under the control of that secret master of ceremonies. And, sweet girls, if you can get this, you will avoid so many “discussions” and disagreements with your husband because you will value you him as one chosen, with all his personality warts & glories, for you. And, you will know that any grumbling to him or about him, is truly grumbling against your Papa God.
I’m in no hurry for you to trade your beach towels for real wedding gowns, but I look forward to meeting the ones God has chosen for each of you.