Two years ago on Valentine’s day (see picture below), my husband and I sat down at my favorite Korean restaurant. My husband knows that Korean cuisine is the fastest way to my heart. Selah. So on that day, I was in love with the explosion of tastes hitting my mouth, celebrating two months of marriage with my love, on the holiday dedicated to love. I was completely in bliss. Fast forward two years later and I am at awe at what God has done in our lives. Both my husband and I have grown in our marriage and welcomed our first born son into the world. Becoming wife and mother has changed me more than anything else. When marriage and motherhood collide: Love covers a multitude of sins.
I grew up with the “head” knowledge that love meant more than gifts, the romance, and the lovey dovey emotions. I mean, we all quoted John 3:16 and I understood that God is Love. Yet, the revelation of “deep love” mentioned in 1 peter 4:8 has been more eye-opening than ever since I said, “I do” and became mommy to my son. This can apply to any close relationship, but the Word became alive for me when my life wasn’t about me anymore. For me, when marriage and motherhood collide: love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (New Living Translation)
Marriage is a Covenant of Covering
Marriage is a covenant of covering. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. God created it. There is nothing like living this life with your best friend and lover and building with them. However, its’ hard. It’s messy. It’s revealing. Author Gary Thomas of Sacred Marriage wrote, “Marriage is a perpetual exercise of mortification and it reminds us of the daily reality of living as sinful human beings in a radically broken world.” Add on the pressures of the world and that can bring tremendous stress on any relationship.
That’s why Paul wrote in 1 Peter 4:8 that we must show deep love for each other. Why? Because in these last days we will need each other more than ever! The world will be watching to see if we are real: By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:35 (John Piper / Desiring God). So in the truth of the Gospel, we cover, and bear, and endure each other’s faults instead of turning away from each other in bitterness and anger.
“This is the reality of the human heart, the inevitability of two sinful people pledging to live together, with all their faults, for the rest of their lives.” ~ Gary Thomas
Motherhood is a Ministry of Covering
Motherhood is a ministry of covering. It’s miraculous. It’s incredible. It’s a gift from God. There is nothing like seeing the blessing of your baby in your arms smiling and looking up at you. However, it’s tiring. It’s messy. It’s revealing. Author of the book Surprised by Motherhood, Lisa Jo-Baker, writes, “Motherhood is a life where everything was unfamiliar and often scary. A life that was mundane and unpredictable at the same time. A mother continues to labor long after the baby is born.” Days when I am tired from night time feedings and long days of work, can sometimes get the best of me and leaves me irritable, inpatient, and well…just tired.
So as a wife and mother living in this duality and complexity of figuring out life, you may be asking how do we live out 1 Peter 4:8? How can I show deep love to my spouse, my child, and by all means grace to myself when it’s so much easier to let our human nature respond in irrational emotion. The genius that God is, He uses the the same institutions that exposes our frailty and faults to teach us to love. When marriage and motherhood collide: love covers a multitude of sins. I’m not going to give you simple principles or a prayer because it’s FAR more complex than that.
This is a process of sanctification. We allow the work of the Holy Spirit to do a deep work inside of us. Ultimately, “we use the challenges, the JOYS, the struggles, and the CELEBRATIONS of marriage and motherhood to draw closer to God and grow in Christian character” (Gary Thomas / Sacred Marriage). I want you to know mama that where you are is exactly where God wants you to be. Find Joy in the process and let the gift of marriage and motherhood teach you how to love. I will close with this excerpt from Sacred Marriage:
Marriage can be the gym in which our capacity to experience and express God’s love is strengthened and further developed.Marriage creates a climate where this love is put to the greatest test. The problem is that this kind of love must be acquired. Katherine Anne Porter writes, “Love must be learned, and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but waits only to be provoked.” Allow your marriage relationship to stretch your love and enlarge your capacity for love – to teach you to be a Christian. Use marriage as a practice court where you learn to accept another person and serve him or her.Gary Thomas; Sacred Marriage