What I Learned in the First Year: Sanctification

Before I got married people told me often how sanctifying marriage is. I believed them. Really, I did. But I didn’t get it. In my head I knew it. It just didn’t really register into knowledge. I was so wrapped up in being in love with Daniel that I often didn’t grasp all that the wise, older people were telling me.

And then I got married.

There is something really jarring about the first time (and every time, actually) you see the ugliness of your sin against the person you love the most. What I learned, very quickly, was that marriage has a way of holding a mirror up to your soul in a way no other relationship does. It makes you bare it all, in good and bad ways. Suddenly you can’t hide and pretend that you are a nice Christian woman. The man sleeping in the bed next to you, though he loves you, often knows that you can be quite different. The beauty of it all is that he loves you anyway. And you love him.

I would like to say that I am always excited about the promise of sanctification in my life through my marriage, but more often I am not. Most of the time, I am stubborn and angry that my sin is exposed. That is why I need sanctification!

Marriage has shown me more of my sin than I have ever seen before, but it has also shown me more of the Gospel. The hope of the covenant of marriage, and more importantly the covenant in the Gospel, is that we are in it for the long haul. Yes, we aren’t fully sanctified yet, but we are working to get there. And we are committed to each other’s growth and love for Christ and each other. Christ does not abandon us when we sin against him continually, nor do we turn from each other when we sin in much smaller magnitudes than sinning against the King of Kings.

So while I still have a long way to go before I am even close to being sanctified, I am grateful for the mirror that my relationship with my husband holds up to me on a daily basis. The picture isn’t always pretty. But Lord willing, I will be a better student of grace than I was this past year.