Marriage like a Mirror

Marriage is like a mirror.[1] It’s pretty good at pointing out blemishes. It shows you things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It shows you ugly things.

A mirror tells me my pants do not go with my shirt and a mirror tells my wife that she should smudge a little more stuff on her forehead. A mirror helps us by pointing out faults and blemishes. It does this without a word. Just by being there. Marriage—the covenant union of one man and one woman—has this same effect.

It often brings the scalpel to things that we were rather fond of. It tells me, “Paul, you may think you are not selfish, but look at this, I disagree.” It tells me, “You may think you are sympathetic and caring but, I beg to differ, look at this.” Marriage, like a mirror, tells me what I am. It is hard to see sometimes. But, like a mirror, it’s better for everybody, if I take a good and true look into it.

The mirror of marriage doesn’t promote vanity. It promotes healthy realism. It shows us when we need to “change our shirt.” Marriage is a mirror that God uses to remake us in His image.

This image is actually best reflected when spouses image the Triune God through their respective loving roles. Spouses, in contrast to the Trinity, show love through dealing with the failings of their spouse; through loving them in the midst of their failure, and gently pointing out their flaws. Yet, this is all done, or should be done, in love. For the building up and the betterment of the other.

May I, and may my spouse, truly desire not to just have a better, easier marriage, but may we desire to be more like Jesus who gave His life for us. May we desire to use the “mirror” to be transformed into the image of the Son.

Now may I resolve to honestly and humbly look into the mirror!


[1] The single person has a different mirror, their “mirror” is singleness. They must ask, for instance, what will truly satisfy. A spouse? Let me tell you, or let my wife tell you, a spouse makes a bad god.

About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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