On MARRIAGE: may God watch between you when you’re apart

Eleven nights is too long to sleep on different continents, I told my husband one afternoon this week, WhatsApp calling off Barnes & Noble’s WiFi on Peachtree Parkway, Atlanta. Six hours in the future, he was about to shower then sleep. I caught his contagious yawns and we yawn-talked like pros despite the 13553 km separating us, because, two continents – one flesh – mutually comprehensible yawn-fests.

I can’t quite wordify all that God pressed deeply on my soul through this stateside experience. It all still feels too sacred to blog. Maybe it’s enough to say that it marked my life.

And because of just that, I wanted to wordify every moment for Murray, because what’s of God for me is of God for him. Again – the one-flesh thing.

So we voice-noted and video-called and did our best to keep in step with out-of-step time zones. I prayed (on repeat) Laban’s Mizpah prayer:  

May the Lord watch between us when we’re apart.  

Because not one of us – unwatchful – is above the slow sad drift or devastating implosion of a marriage. And maybe watching – and trusting God to watch for us – looks like this:

Don’t stop looking into each other’s eyes.

Because eyes stay the same. The eyes you fell in love with will be the same eyes wrinkle-hugged one day in the face of your ageing soul-mate. Look deep into those eyes, and remember.

Do the hard work of soft hearts.

Sure, have date nights, have a budget, do random acts of kindness and sexiness. But what makes a marriage work isn’t remembering to wheel in the dustbin from the pavement on a Wednesday night. (Though it helps.) It’s doing the prayerful hard graft of loosening heart soil, to keep resentment at bay.

Love who your spouse is becoming.

Paul writes, I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

You’re not perfect and neither is he. But one day – *woo hooo!* – all flaws and weird idiosyncrasies will be ironed out glorious because God has perfection planned for you both and how cool is that?

Do another day of life with your lover, knowing it marks a little more passing of the old. A little more ushering in of the new. A little more Jesus.  

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(Photo credit: Scott Reyburn)

Don’t give the enemy an inch. (Ephesians 4:27)

This might sound lame, but before I went away we agreed that we should totally uplift each other in conversations with others. That way, we weren’t making room for the subtle, socially acceptable spousal bad-mouthing that leads to bitterness.

So when people teased Murray about staying home to look after the boys while I chased some dreams, he’d say how great it was that I got to chase some dreams.

And when someone intimated to me that Murray would have his hands full (Read: Will the poor man cope?), I made sure not to roll my eyes as if siding with all the women who think men are incompetent.

God willing by the time you read this I’ll be home and celebrating shared callings and Showmax, tea in bed and the relief of leaving sentences unfinished and being completely understood.

And I’m saying,

Here’s to Mizpah marriages – seen and sealed by the God who syncs the time zones of our souls.

. . .

Have a fantastic weekend! Please feel free to share this post with your people.

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