At a condo I once lived in, the closet doors had been replaced with full length mirrors. It was a little disconcerting at times to always see myself there. Especially in the bedroom, where I would change clothes, or step out from the bath after my shower to get things. In a sense it made me feel vulnerable, seeing myself that way. Normally, my view is from my perspective only, but seeing yourself constantly as you move about the room turned out to really bother me. I really don’t ever need to see myself from those angles in that state of dress. It’s just a little too revealing.
What I didn’t realize then, was that on my wedding day I would be marrying another of those full-length mirrors, and he would follow me around and not just in the bedroom. Adam is always with me, allowing me to see myself through his perspective. My route to denial is inhibited and I am constantly being surprised by my own reflection bouncing off of him. I guess you could say that this is both good and bad.
It’s good because it allows me to have faith in his faith. It allows me to rely on his belief in me when mine falters. It allows me to feel beautiful when I see the measure of his esteem for me. It allows me to grow into my full potential because I want to be the woman that he describes when he talks about me. It encourages me to be more than I thought I could be, not because I wasn’t capable on my own, but rather that I didn’t see the talents, opportunities and potential in me that he sees.
However, it’s also bad because it also reveals the worst parts of me too. Just like squatting to look under the bed shocked my bedroom mirror, my sinful nature can provide a shocking image in my spousal mirror. Before marriage I thought I had done a pretty good job hunting out my areas of sin. I thought that that man I married would truly be getting a wife worthy of rubies. Little did I realize that there were so many areas of my sin nature that had remained hidden to me within my single life.
It was like cleaning a house, but leaving several rooms in the dark behind locked doors. For example, I didn’t realize how selfish I was until I had to share. I didn’t realize how demanding I was until I was forced to compromise. I didn’t realize how unforgiving I was until I was expected to extend grace. Unlike my single life, this was a state of being that I had to confront all the time, when I least expected it.
At first, I didn’t like what I saw. Just like that mirror in the bedroom, I saw so many areas in need of change. I saw how much work needed to be done to reach my ideal self-image. Now as I catch glimpses of my character reflected through my husband’s view, I see how far from the image of Christ I really am. I see my sin nature in full color shining back in my face, and it humbles me. I feel convicted of who I am when no one is watching.
However, conviction differs from sin, in that it promotes change. The first thing it does is cause me to repent of my sinful nature. It drives me to my knees and sends me to my Heavenly Father for redemption. It opens within me a hunger and thirst for righteousness that I cannot satisfy on my own. His view pushes me forward as I strive forward to be transformed by Christ through sanctification. It reveals how deeply I need a Savior.
So, you see, my husband, the full-length mirror, is actually not both good and bad. It is good and great. It is good because I can borrow his belief in me when I am unsure or doubting. But it is great because it constantly reminds me of my salvation through Jesus. It drives me forward to be better, to be more, to be a child of Christ. It keeps me from becoming proud and confident in my own gifts, and constantly striving to run the best race I can.
This mirror I see in Adam is just another reminder of how marriage is the earthly version of our relationship with Christ. Our relationship to Jesus also acts as our mirror. I can also borrow his faith in me to sustain me in times of weakness. The Apostle Paul wrote that he delighted in his weakness, for then Christ’s strength was revealed. When I look at myself through the eyes of Christ, I see a daughter of the Most High. A woman made in the image of God. I see myself as fearfully and wonderfully made.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Just as my husband the mirror shows me my sin nature, my Savior the mirror does the same thing. I look at myself according to the standard set by Christ and I see how short I fall. I see how far from righteous I really am, and I praise Him for loving me anyway. I see how unworthy I am of redemption and I glorify Him for the free gift of my salvation. When I look in the mirror of Christ, I see a woman who is both sinful and beautiful. I see her as righteous and fallen. I see her as hopeless and promised. I see her as unlovely, but deeply loved.
So, today I am thankful for my husband, the mirror. I am thankful that he sees more in me than I could ever dream of for myself and I am thankful that he helps me to see my own sin nature. More than that though, I am thankful for Christ, the mirror, that holds the reflection of a girl that has been promised a kingdom even though she doesn’t deserve it.