a note from your host
If you know me, you know I am not married. I’d like to be, but it’s not quite the time for that part of my story. Clearly, God had other plans.
So as a single, why take this project on?
I felt the burden so strongly on my heart for quite some time to open up the conversation, create a website and platform to talk about marriage and defend the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is meant to be a beautiful thing. Easy? No. More and more, couples are choosing to stay away from marriage out of fear it will kill passion, “it’s just a piece of paper”, it will ruin the fun or it’s too big a commitment.
Growing up, I was the girl who bought into the whimsical idea of love and marriage. I desired to be married or have that special person in my life over anything. You could say, I idolized marriage. Later, God showed me that until my mindset of marriage or relationships shifted, I would never be satisfied in any sort of relationship I tried to make happen myself. And what I realized was that I idolized acceptance, affirmation, attention much more than marriage itself. Marriage isn’t meant to bring me ultimate satisfaction and meet all my needs. It’s sacrifice, and it’s meant to be taken seriously. I’ve learned it’s a choice, a daily renewal of commitment to love the person you’ve vowed your life to even if you don’t feel like it. And I finally understood this because I have that in my relationship with Him, in Jesus. Is it always easy to die daily to self? To pursue the hard and holy things over the self-gratifying things? Definitely not! But I’ve experienced a love so great, that I know commitment to Him is better than anything this world has to offer. And if we can apply that to our idea of marriage, we might be on to something.
What He’s shown me in this journey, is that marriage isn’t the end all, be all. Our culture will tempt us to believe that if we’re not married by 30 we’re doing something wrong or if the relationship you’re in isn’t passionate and full of highs, then it’s time to leave. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about choosing each other, it’s about trying again tomorrow and showing up. Remembering the vows you made and knowing that you made that vow not just before yourselves and witnesses, but before God. It’s about sticking through the lows and the days where feelings feel flat and aren’t sizzling.
I fully understand there are circumstances where leaving a marriage is the answer and is biblical, but it’s when we allow the world’s definition of these things — marriage, love, passion — steer us that we are in trouble. When we pursue these things to find happiness and rely solely on human love as our ultimate satisfaction, we’ll discover it won’t ever fill us up. We’re fractured and flawed, and we don’t have the capacity to love someone the way God can. We were created by His love, for His love.
The deep, deep longing within you is your compass pointing North, pointing up to Heaven to where an eternal love is found. The only kind of love that will ever fill us.
I also believe the Lord is coming back for His church soon and that it is time that we as the Church, ready ourselves for His coming. What does Jesus call His Church?
That’s right…His bride. And the Bible says He is preparing a wedding feast (Revelation 19:6-9) for us.
These next words taken from a friend…she wrote,
”He is coming for His bride and we better be ready!
Do we even know what this means? Do we understand His love? Do we respect His covenant?
He is giving us time and reminding us through this beautiful and challenging journey of marriage what the Father hopes to have with us!
This is the Father’s heart beat.
Will we retune and return our hearts once more to our First Love?
Will we be ready?
“Because I love Zion,
I will not keep still.
Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem,
I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her
until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
The nations will see your righteousness.
World leaders will be blinded by your glory.
And you will be given a new name
by the Lord’s own mouth.
The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see—
a splendid crown in the hand of God.
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City”
or “The Desolate Land.”
Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight”
and “The Bride of God,”
for the Lord delights in you
and will claim you as his bride. “
May there also be a spirit of joy and celebration because of this truth, we delight our Father’s heart!!
And may we delight in Him! He loves us so much!
I’m excited to learn, laugh, cry and rejoice as we embark on this journey together!!
About the host
Alysha Miller is the photographer and host of The Marriage Project and podcast. The vision for this project was conceived at a friend's baby shower, in the company of women whose stories and raw honesty about their marriages captured her attention. She wanted to share their stories and use photography and writing to shine a light on marriage and God’s heart for it. She is also currently writing a book titled The Marriage Project where she shares her testimony and the full story of how this project came to be.
She has interviewed and recorded with each couple face to face, traveling to where they are to keep in step with the heartbeat of the project — real connection, open communication and a sense of community.
Exciting plans are in store for the project this 2019 year, stay tuned!
To put a face to a name, you can find Alysha here.