You are currently viewing The Beauty of Boundaries 3: Boundaries in Marriage

The Beauty of Boundaries 3: Boundaries in Marriage

The Beauty of Boundaries Day 3 – Boundaries in Marriage

There it was. Despite my best efforts to be sweet and reasonable, I was face to face with my own bridezilla moment! The day before our wedding, a happy, busy day, I was attending to last-minute details, adding special touches to my grandparents’ chapel building. In many ways, our carefully chosen venue reflected their hearts—practical and faithful, drawing attention to the One who had won their hearts first and was worthy of their life of devotion.

In honor of their desires, our added touches would be simple too: a wrought-iron candleholder across the table on the platform, with a small spray of flowers at its base, and cream-colored candles that cast a soft glow across the front of the auditorium, two lush ferns on either side of the aisle to frame our ceremony location, and a few big white bows to reserve rows for family.

Our reception would also be simple: hors d’oeuvres and cake in the basement of the chapel. Friends worked hard in that nondescript space to create the feeling of a beautiful courtyard. I couldn’t have been happier—until out of the corner of my eye, I spotted fabric that looked horribly out of place. It was lying in a heap on the floor. It seemed garish, with bold wide stripes of color. “What is that?” I asked nervously. A member of the catering staff turned to me and proudly stated, “Oh, that’s the table skirt!”

My mind scrambled. In my head I was thinking, Oh, no! This is not a circus, this is our wedding—and that just will not do! My soon-to-be-husband shot me a glance, fearing that I might just lose it.

Somehow, I managed to gather myself and calmly asked if it could be replaced with something white! At that, another catering team member came to my rescue. With his unique flair and with apologetic kindness, he assured me that he personally would see to it that all linens would be white. Phew! “Catastrophe” averted. Leaving it in good hands, I bounced back to my own list and we stepped confidently forward into the happy blur that would be the next 24 hours. Needless to say, I never gave the table skirt another thought! 

This past week we celebrated our 25th anniversary. I was reminded of a few phrases from our ceremony, charging us to “delight in the society of one another, choose to stand beside one another even when it doesn’t come naturally, and place our confidence always in the Lord to hold us together when life has a way of tearing us apart.”

We have been abundantly blessed with truly happy years together. Because of David’s love and commitment to the Lord and to me, it is not hard to choose to stand beside him, to overflow with thanksgiving for the love that we share. As we flipped through pages of our wedding album, we paused at the pictures of that beautiful basement reception area. My mind then drifted to a study I had recently done on the book of Esther.

Esther’s story in chapter 1 begins with a detailed description of a festive time in the kingdom of Ahasuerus and his queen, Vashti. Although vastly different from our homespun, simple elegance, there were enough similarities to grab my attention:

“… a feast lasting for seven days in the court of the garden of the king’s palace… white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars… couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones… drinks served in golden vessels… royal wine lavished according to the bounty of the king… Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the palace…”

Wow. The aesthetics alone captivate me. I imagine myself even more wide-eyed with amazement than when I walked in to discover my own attractively decorated reception area.

But my mind lingers on Vashti, Ahasuerus’ queen who declined his request to join him at his banquet. We certainly don’t know the details that might explain Vashti’s heart. But I can’t help but think, why wouldn’t Vashti want to take her prominent place in this extravagant occasion? Why would she not joy in being the delight of her king? Why would she spurn the chance to delight in his society and be shown to everyone as his treasure? 

There are likely many possible explanations, but one simple thought crossed my mind: maybe she was too wrapped up in her own lavish occasion with the ladies, and he had been completely consumed with his own feasting for 180 days, and so they became horribly disconnected. They were certainly not “delighting in the society of each other, choosing to stand beside one another” and, from what we read, did not have the Lord in their marriage at all.

Later in the book, I couldn’t help but notice the comparison between Esther and Vashti. Instead of being wrapped up in her own festivities, separate from the king, Esther prepares a banquet for her king, and he happily accepts her invitation, two days in a row. In that place of happy communion, she is able to bare her soul and plead for her life and for her people. And he, already taken with her heart and responding to her gracious approach to him, heartily stands to defend her and grants her request! I know there were greater things at stake in Esther’s day than a marriage relationship, but I find it all interesting and challenging to me as I seek God’s best for my own marriage, and as we create boundaries that honor one another.

And so, as we celebrate our wedding anniversary, I thank the Lord for these accounts in His Word. I thank Him for the simple encouragement to pray for God’s help, to choose to stand by my man, to not allow commitments to continually draw us away from one another, to consciously delight in each other, and to invest our lives in God’s service together.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply