“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
— Proverbs 27:17, NIV
Have you ever noticed that the years seem to fly by at breakneck speed? A child is born, and before you know it, he or she is walking. For months, you plan a big party, and before you know it, it seems as if the party took place six months ago. You lay out the perfect vacation getaway, and soon you’re wistfully poring through a photo album of the trip. It just seems as if life runs on fast forward.
Well, in one sense life does fly by, because from an eternal perspective, life is short. Before long, your family will grow and move away. Even your career will fade into retirement. But for those of us who are married, God has placed us on this temporal earth in part to develop our relationships with our spouses, relationships that mirror the eternal relationship between Christ and His Church.
Marriage prepares us for eternity by teaching us the process of sanctification. Sometimes we wonder why our husbands or wives rub us the wrong way, and yet, that process is part of God’s design. As iron sharpens iron, so one person can sharpen the other. We have rough edges that need to be rubbed off, and many a person has found that marriage grinds off all sorts of undesirable characteristics. (Not that marriage is a grind; it’s often anything but.)
Marriage is a school in which we daily learn forgiveness, patience, and love. In marriage, we learn to develop an intimate relationship, and that process teaches us how to pursue an intimate relationship with Christ. The three main ingredients in both of these relationships are commitment, love, and trust.
I hope that today you find joy in your relationship with your spouse—someone who will encourage you, even if that means helping to smooth away some rough edges. Welcome this process, because before you know it, life will be over. Then you’ll experience the eternity you’ve prepared for, and you’ll find yourself face to face with Jesus Christ as His bride.