When somebody is invited into someone else's home, to enjoy an evening or a day together, a common question that is asked by the invitee is, "What can I bring?"
Even though it has made it into the "that's just what you do" realm, I think it a beautiful, kind, and loving question. All at once, it is an expression of gratitude, an offer to contribute to the quality of the event, and a desire to reciprocate the kindness and hospitality being offered.
Such thoughtfulness should also be considered when someone is invited, not just into someone's home for one evening, but into someone's life... forever.
That is marriage. At least that is what it is supposed to be. It is an invitation into someone else's life forever.
So, it seems to me that in marriage, we should not only ask, "What can I bring?" in order to contribute to its quality, but we should also make great efforts to ask, "What do I bring?" that may provide challenges, or even pose a serious threat, to what marriage is supposed to be.
So today, we examine ourselves. All of us, whether we are unmarried or have been married for decades, bring certain things with us wherever we go. We bring certain tendencies, certain presumptions, certain expectations, certain personalities, certain wounds, and so much more.
Some of what we bring comes from "how we have been made" and some from "how we have been conditioned." But who cares? If something I bring is less than profitable or Christlike, regardless of its source, it WILL be exposed in marriage. And it is incumbent on you and me to surrender it to God for His refinement.
So, please, in marriage (before and after), let the question of "what do I bring?" make it into the realm of "that's just what you do." Few marriages survive or thrive without it.