"Hold onto someone who will make you the most 'YOU' that you can possibly be."
People often talk about how your spouse/boyfriend/fiance should bring out the best in you. I wholeheartedly agree. Why would you not marry someone who will build you up and encourage you to be the best you can be? My husband certainly does (and I am very blessed in that). Nevertheless, I do not believe that a spouse's purpose is simply to bring out the best in you.
I believe that one of the purposes of marriage--as I have outlined in An Introduction--is becoming more unified and more like Christ. It is learning to die to self and look out for the needs of someone else. It is trusting that God is working in both of our lives through the good and the bad. It is being completely open and vulnerable, trusting someone, and in turn trusting God that no matter what happens, He will sustain you. It is reflecting Christ more and more. It is growing.
It is not enough for someone to bring out the best in you. If only the very best part of you comes out when you are with your spouse, where does the growth come from? How can I become more like Christ if only the parts that already are like Him come to the surface? What growth is needed if I appear to be perfect right now?
As is apparent from my previous posts, the marriage between my husband and I is not perfect. We both have flaws, and those come out in our day to day interactions. Sometimes we are able to overlook the other's faults and love unconditionally. Other times...not so much. In the short time that we have been married, I feel like I have learned more about myself than I ever had before. I have seen super cool aspects of my personality that I had not noticed before. Likewise, I have seen what a horrible, selfish person I can be. I have become more confident, as well as more humble (the work is most definitely NOT done, however). I have grown. I have not grown simply because my husband brings out the best in me, however. I have grown because he brings out ME. All of me, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
For example, before we got married, I had no idea that I had the ability to get angry with someone so often and to be unkind and rude as a result of it. On the other hand, before we got married, I had no idea that I was outgoing (it was hiding behind my shyness, but now that I know it is there, I can work on coaxing it out). And as we continue to be married, I am certain that more things that I had never seen before--good and bad--will show themselves. The good to be encouraged and to grow in; the bad to be addressed and worked through.
We are married for growth, for transformation, for bringing God glory. My husband brings out the best in me, but more than that, he brings out me. And as God reveals bits and pieces of me through my relationship with my husband, He will bring growth; He will transform; and He will be glorified because it is only through Him that those things can happen.
"His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through
the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." --1 Peter 1:3