In marriage, God teaches us the virtue of loving someone else more than self. Mike Mason writes in The Mystery of Marriage, "The Christian faith, like marriage, aims at teaching us that the time when we are most ourselves is, paradoxically, when we are busy losing ourselves in another." He says, "A marriage lives ... upon those almost impossible times when it is perfectly clear to the two partners that nothing else but pure sacrificial love can hold them together." As a married couple, we have the perfect picture of true love: Christ.

Over time, Clarissa and I discussed our marriage and what was and wasn't working. I learned I would have to give up a lot of reading time. We found things we liked to do together and we began taking walks each evening. I learned not to start reading until we had spent some quality time together. After we spent time together, Clarissa was happy to grade her students' papers while I read.

It was only after I put down my books that I began to experience the true joys of marriage. When I learned to first love my wife, the sacrifices I thought I was making turned out not to be so difficult. Soon, walking around the block was much more exciting than reading, and I realized what I'd been missing while I had my nose in a book.

My parents have many more stories from their first years together. I now have a better understanding of why my father always laughs when he talks about my tricky mother. He knows ― and I'm learning ― that you marry someone because you fall in love with them, but you nurture that love by practicing Christ's example.

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