I’ll never forget that May snowstorm a few years ago.
It was only a couple inches, but with the snow sopping wet and everything in full bloom, the trees didn’t have the strength to withstand even that much. It looked like a hurricane had blown through. Branches littering the streets, trees sagging into yards and onto power lines…my mother, out for a walk, had a branch come crashing to the ground only feet away from her.
Things aren’t beautiful outside their time.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Or try the other side. Ever hoped guiltily for a winter that would dart unexpectedly out the door in February and leave us with an early spring? I have. A good friend once said that spring “feels hopeful.” Certainly more so than winter. I don’t enjoy the brownness of the earth in winter, the gray skies, the inability to smell anything. Some people feel more alive in the crispness of winter air, but not me. Winter is a season of dead. The long, dark nights offer depression, like I’m living on Mars. Give me one month of winter to snowboard and make Christmas look right, and then we can be done. Coming up at eleven: What my car thinks of winter – uncensored! (Why do I live in Montana again?)
And sometimes, spring indeed comes early. A sneaky glee springs within me in those years.
But it’s not beautiful outside its time.
I’ve never been married. But I have been very interested in marriage.
The divorce of my parents led me to one of the most fervent prayers I’ve ever made – “God, don’t let me end up there.” It’s the kind of prayer God is eager to answer. His first lesson? Much of the answer takes place before any vows do.
And the greatest answer of all is…Jesus.
I know. I can hear you sigh. You’ve heard for years that you need Jesus more than a spouse. But he just seems so boring compared to romance and white picket fences and sex and babies. He honestly seems unrelated, other than saying “no” to your longing.
But indulge me for a second. The fall of my family prompted me to keep my eyes and ears open for “what it takes” for a thriving marriage. It got me watching older couples, gleaning from them, reading every book anyone gave me. It got me learning from couples my own age as they’ve reached that stage. God used the whole thing to grab my attention; he gave me the chance to scout out, in a way, the territory ahead of us singles.
And not only am I more convinced than ever that Jesus is the answer, but he’s been kind enough to give me some idea as to why.
It’s awkward to speak beyond my experience, and it forces me to mix in some generalities. But this really isn’t my words. It’s those of married couples. Perhaps we’d be wise to switch Tinder off for a minute and listen to them.
Six reasons we need Jesus more than a spouse…that have to do with the spouse.
1. You need Jesus to find that person.