By Jason Lillis, Family Life Coordinator

Did you tune into the Oscars a couple weeks ago? I missed it, but did hear about an interesting quote from Ben Affleck after winning Best Picture for Argo. Among his list of thanks, he delivered the following to his wife, Jennifer Garner:

“I want to thank you for working on marriage for ten Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”

It’s no secret to any of us that marriages of celebrities come under more public scrutiny than yours and mine. Many of these couples have shown that under this strain and the craziness of schedules full of self-promotion, many of these marriages fall into trouble. For me, it’s great to hear that someone under that kind of observation would publicly share the need for work within marriage.

This statement reminded me of how the last seven and a half years with my wife have been a time of love, laughter, tears, and what truly is “the best kind of work.” It’s not easy to share such intimacy with another person. We are basically asking our spouses to learn all the nooks and crannies of our lives, to nearly become mind-readers of our emotional states, and to be willing to forgive us when we fail to best care and love them.

Like Paul writes in today’s letter to the Corinthians, Christ has made us new creation, and – so redeemed – I am called into this relationship that is so often a “ministry of reconciliation” that daily calls on me to see how in Christ, “behold, new things have come.” And you know what? This daily interplay and work leads to the reward of a wonder-filled marriage, one that brings life and joy to our home.

Over the next week, I encourage you to engage in this work with your spouse in some simple ways:
– Thank them for the cooperative work you do together
– Think back on the memories of the number of Christmases (or Lents) that you have shared – Which memories stand out?
– Talk about an area of your marriage that needs work, and talk about a plan to work on it

I hope your week is full of great reflections with each other, and greater opportunities to continue this “best kind of work!”