I sat beside my love in a wooden pew and watched our two friends say their vows this weekend. The pastor who married them spoke about the dynamic of marriage through an analogy of three tables.
The first is the dining table—surrounded by more that two chairs; requiring more than the presence of a bride and groom. The significance is that a marriage requires community. Periodically, guests should occupy these extra chairs, engaging in conversation, but ultimately, engaging in each other’s lives. Marriage is not intended to isolate a couple. Marriage should teach us how to press deeper into community through serving others and seeking wise counsel through intentionally welcoming the company of others.
The second table is the common table, or the breakfast table. This is where life takes place. It is essentially where everything happens, though it may seem like nothing is happening. It is where you sit across each other for coffee in the morning, and dinner in the evening. It’s where you’ll laugh over your first culinary catastrophe; where the small-talk and serious talks takes place; where messes are made and messes are cleaned. It’s where the mundane becomes a collection of moments that add up to the life you make together.
The third table is the most important dynamic within a marriage. It’s the table of the Lord’s supper where you both take communion. It is here where you both are humbled and needy—undeserving, but ever-desperate for the daily mercies to partake in the grace of the Lord that frees you both from the selfishness that threatens a marriage’s joy. It is here that you are both reconciled to God through Jesus and thus reconciled to each other—renewed by his faithfulness and reminded of your individual identities that are secure in his truth. This table is where you remember that as Christ was taken, broken, and given for both of you, so you should each be emptied for one another.
My love for the imagery of tables deepens, widens, and intensifies.