To see you then as I see you now, our young, untested love couldn’t handle it. To see how nearly 17 years can take and toss two lives together like dirty laundry on the high spin, heavy soil, hot wash cycle of a machine, leaving us dizzy and hung out to dry.
“Keep your eyes wide open before you’re married,” they said, “and half closed thereafter.”
I laugh at that now. Because that’s not love. That’s sedation. That’s inebriation. That’s blindness.
And biblical love isn’t blind. Oh, biblical love sees with eyes wide open.
It doesn’t just see the shared calendar and routines in place to complete responsibilities. It sees the fight to communicate and the communication that turns to fights and rolled eyes and clenched jaws. It sees the strain of looking at things from the other person’s perspective when we see our own so much clearer. It doesn’t just see the sun-kissed skin peeking out from short sleeves. It sees the stretch marks underneath and the age spots and the sags and the saddlebags.
You see the tangles and tears and threads unraveling from my sinful heart and I see the stains and the snags and the smears of sin on yours.
Here we are eye-to-eye, face-to-face. Nothing’s hidden.
And they said I’m supposed to half-close my eyes to the things about you I don’t like or want to see? Is that what God does with us?
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
God doesn’t look away from all my offensiveness. He sees me as I am – poor, sinful, spiritually dead – and moves toward me through Jesus, making me rich, righteous, and alive!
And then he sees me not as I was but as I will be for eternity – pure, blameless, and without spot or stain. He will make me a holy bride, dressed in white I didn’t earn, and I will one day love him back perfectly as he deserves.
So, wives and husbands, we too should love like God, opening our eyes and keeping them wide open!
Like him, we should love that other person for who he is, where she is, and what he is, while simultaneously holding out hope for all she still can be by the grace of God.
Biblical love sees reality and faces it without flinching. It knows what it’s getting into, what its gotten into, and stays there still. It works to make that other person better, without strings attached and without expectation of return from him. Because along the way, and ultimately one day, we will get return from Him.
We are free to release that other person from reciprocation because Omniscience sees. And he will not forget. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown. . .” (Hebrews 6:4)
So, watch the torrential rain in your marriage and peer hopefully for the rainbow.
Watch the flames of rage ignite and by faith look for the sparks of romance to fly.
Look as the flood waters rise and don’t quench the hope that can lead safely to the sure footing of the Rock.
Because with all the looking, we must remember we don’t walk by sight but by faith. And the eyes of faith can see beyond what our senses perceive. The eyes of faith can see the impossible, the unexpected, the surprises of grace and mercy.
So, my love, keep looking at my threads and tatters, and I’ll keep seeing your stains and snags. Let’s keep seeing and knowing and still choosing to love each other. But, together, let’s look beyond each other with hope to the day we will be clothed in garments of gracious salvation – tears mended, stains removed – wrapped together with robes of glorious righteousness.
Open up your eyes. Keep them wide open.