"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. Eph 5:31-32
Dear Lord Jesus, on May 5th, 1862, a very unlikely thing happened---the Mexican army defeated the French forces at the Battle of Puebla. And on May 5th, 1972, another unlikely thing happened, Darlene and I got married. It was the beginning of another glorious battle, one you've been winning throughout our four decades of shared life---the holy war of pouring the gospel into two our hearts and marriage.
On our first Cinco de Mayo, how little we understood about the riches of your grace, the daily-ness of your mercies and the lavishness of your love. But then again, we were also pretty clueless about the depth of our sin, the degree of our brokenness and the design of a gospel-centered marriage. Indeed, we were so naïve and ill-prepared for the journey in front of us. A whirlwind three-month engagement, after my proposal on our second date... what were thinking?
How faithful you've been over these 40 years, Lord Jesus. After all, marriage is all about you, anyway---a showing and telling of the way you love like no other spouse ever could or would. Our marriage is simply preparation for the only lasting and perfect marriage---the nuptial wonder we share with you in the gospel and for eternity. O what a blessed state of affairs that's going to be!
Jesus, we have so much on our 40th anniversary for which to give you thanks and praise. Thank you for rescuing us from the notion that if we "married the right person" it would be enough. There's a place in our hearts only you can fill. We no longer suffer from spouse-idolatry. We're two broken sinners, justified-by-grace, coming more fully alive to the only love that is enough---the only love that will never let us go... yours!
Thank you for quicker repentances in our marriage and less pettiness. Thank you for more encouragement and less trying to change the other. Thank you for showing us how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, and not just provoke one another. Thank you that we can weep together and rejoice together; that we can be weak together and hope together. Thank you that we've never been more excited to partner together in the ministry of the gospel and service in your kingdom.
One day, Lord Jesus, one of us will commit the other to the earth and into your presence. Until that day, continue to pour more and more of your grace into our hearts and into our marriage. Keep freeing us, growing us and using us... any way you choose, to bring glory to yourself and joy to our hearts. So very Amen we pray, in your peerless and exalted name.