I first came across a column by Susie Davis about a year-and-a-half ago, in an issue of Austin Woman Magazine. At the end I read that she and her husband, Will, had built a church on the northwest side of town. I was interested because Marlin and I had just moved and were looking to get connected in a church and had yet to find one we felt comfortable with. Fast forward to today, and not only have we found a new church home that we’re pretty excited about, but I’ve also found a new author to tell you about.
It’s an easy read. Uncovered: Revealing the Secrets of a Sexy Marriage. It’s one that you could read while sipping an iced (insert your beverage of choice here), lying on a nice beach towel watching the waves go back and forth. It’s also one you could curl up with by the bedside lamp with a cup of hot tea and stay up all night to finish without even realizing it. It’s funny, real, and inspiring.
But what I love most about it is the lesson I never knew I had never realized, even two years after the wedding (I know, we’re practically seasoned vets, don’t you think?). In the chapter titled “Materialism and the Man,” Susie warns about the threats of being obsessed with things, with what we have, and how we appear to be doing to everyone on the outside. Yes, we’ve all heard this before. But she goes on to write that lowering our standards or crushing our cravings for stuff is not going to be a long-term solution; rather, we should really think about raising our expectations. Not the expectations of what we have, but raising the expectations of what our marriage should be and stand for. Her answer? Giving your marriage a mission.
I’m going to stop here for a second because I’m a little embarrassed to say that she ended up going in an entirely different direction than I was expecting. She asks why you got married in the first place and I went down my list: Build a life with my best friend…check. Provide a stable home and family for the future children I hope to have…check. Irresistible smile and dimples…triple check. Okay, there was a little more to my decision than that, but you get the idea. What I never considered about getting married was this:
“While Will and I love each other immensely, we are also out there loving God and others…while doing so, we are fulfilling our mission to love and serve…and it’s in this comprehensive context that we find meaning in our marriage. A marriage mission is about understanding that the union you share is not just about the two of you. Your marriage has a higher calling and a bigger vision–and that can change everything.”
Whoa. Do you see why I was embarrassed to admit that I’d never realized this before? It seems so common sense, but honestly I was just always concerned about how our marriage served my husband. Now I realize that as a couple, God can use our marriage to serve others.
Thanks for bringing this life-changing revelation to my universe, Susie. I was a major fan of marriage before, but this takes it to a whole other level. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a mission.