We do not fight. We have passionate discussions. We’ve had long silence until one caves in.
One of our core memories as a couple was when we were in Baguio. One night after a great dinner, we went to 711 to buy water. It was an easy pick until I saw the original branding of presto creams: peanut butter flavored. This is how the conversation went:
Junver: Should we buy it or not?
Richt: I am not sure. How about we buy *insert another junk food*?
Junver: I ask you to decide only if we buy the Presto or not.
I went to the counter and called Richt.
Junver: Have you made the decision?
Richt suddenly appeared beside me in the counter and brought the presto.
Richt: As if I really have a choice!
I swear if darting eyes could kill, I will be a casualty together with the cashier. I still paid for it anyway. We were heading back to the hotel and I could not feel the chilling cool air of Baguio anymore. It was already dark literally and figuratively. I hate awkward silence but I successfully endured it. There were no words but long sighs and a marathon walk.
When the Rubber Meets the Road
This is the moment of truth! I do not want to put down the drain everything I learned from marriage preparation seminars to the advices from couples that we met before the wedding day. I tried to remember all the things that my mentors told me on what to do in situations like this. I cannot seem to fully recall anything. I was thinking to message or call one of my mentors already.
Realization kicked in: I am not ready for marriage. I tried to deflect it by praying in my head.
When we got into the room, something beautiful happened. I felt a tug in my heart. I knew it was God speaking into me. I told Richt if it is okay for us to do communion. Fortunately, she agreed to it.
I prepared the elements for our second communion as a couple after our wedding. Ironically, we used presto and the water.
I read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. It was the most heartbreaking and emotional communion. It was so pure and so true.
We remembered what Jesus had done for us on the cross. We were both convicted that by putting our selfish and personal desire, we offended a great and loving God. It was a reminder for us to look past our imperfections and see ourselves in the lens of Jesus.
Forgiveness and comfort enveloped us both. It made us cry even more knowing that God has forgiven us over and over again. That a loving God would sacrifice His son Jesus for the atonement of our sins.
Jesus’ body was broken. He shed blood for me and Richt.
What held Jesus on the cross was not because of His power and strength but because of His love for us.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46
He was not forsaken by our Father in heaven. But because of our sin, Jesus was pierced and crushed. He became the sin-offering, the curse and died in our place, on our account. Sin created the great divide and the separation of God and man. Jesus must have felt that too as He bore all our sins.
That great exchange enables us to experience His love and His forgiveness.
We honor God when we recognize our brokenness and allow God to work on it.
One of the best gifts that we can offer to God is our brokenness. It is a gift that He is very willing to accept. In return, we are mended and we are fully healed.
In marriage, we honor God when we put him at the center of everything that we do. We follow Jesus’ footsteps of dying for us and so we are to die for our spouse everyday. Die to self-centeredness. Die to personal wants and desires. We do not record wrongs. We look at the best interest of our spouse.
These realizations helped us to break down all of our other priorities.
I used to believe that we should put God as the first of everything and the top priority in a ranking like this.
The truth is that other priorities do not come close to God as the first.
If we loved God the way we ought, there would be no such thing as a “close second.” – Francis Chan
Everything revolves around God. God should not be part of the hierarchy but instead He is in every part of the priority.
In everything that we do and the decisions that we make about other things in life, it is anchored in to honoring God.
- Does it honor Him?
- Will it compromise my relationship with God?
- Is this a command of God?
When God found me and Richt, it was the time that we love and truly found each other. The love and marriage that honor God will have an overflow of loving and forgiving other people too, over and over again.
We are excited to do our regular communion. Not because we have a fight to settle.
Because we have Jesus who is worth all the moment to be remembered.
Related Article: Values Driven Marriage
WRITTEN BY: JUNVER ARCAYNA
PICTURE: MARTIN & RITA MOLINA