Strokes of true, eternal beauty are made in sacrifice. In John 15:13-14 Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." Jesus has commanded us to lay down our lives for one another. This is not a command for a one time sacrifice but a lifetime and lifestyle of sacrificing oneself for another. It's about putting another before yourself in every way, thinking of how they feel, considering what they need, valuing what brings them joy, avoiding what brings them pain... in spite of how you feel. This IS love. Every time you lay down your life (your selfish desires, pride, anger, rejection, etc.) for your spouse, God will rush in with blessings for you. He will bless you spiritually, physically and in every aspect of your life. A marriage comprised of two people who are committed to mutual sacrifice is a beautiful and blessed example of God's love and Jesus' sacrifice for us.
You are painting a living work of art with your choices in marriage. What type of art are you painting? Is it destined to hang in a hall of master works or colossal failures? Let me remind you, it's not about past mistakes! We mustn't be defined by them, but rather by forgiveness. You create anew with every brush stroke of love and forgiveness that graces your canvas. The marred ugliness of past mistakes and regret vanish until one day you see only one thing: A shining example of enduring love, a master work of art.
As Christ followers we are destined for miraculous, redemptive and glorious works of art. Above all, may God be glorified in us and in our marriages. May He empower us to love like Christ, for apart from Him we are incapable of even holding the brush.
John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.