Mike and I began our life together with a long-distance romance — a year of polished snapshots and glimpses — long letters, rare visits, weekly late-night phone calls in the days before dialing cross country was free.

The following year, we lived in the same city. Our relationship seeped across hours instead of minutes — studying and talking and working together. We saw the other’s quirks and spots in real time  — watched each other’s hearts wade through the good and the bad and the normal. We uncovered some of the ordinary that the extraordinary had often concealed.

The year after that, we were married. And for 21 years since, our days have exposed us, body, mind and soul. We often know each other better than we know ourselves — our virtues and flaws, our hearts and our habits.

Often, we feel close. At times, love has an edge. But always, the knowing is there — sometimes a comfort, sometimes an anchor, sometimes a mirror glance at what we really look like instead of what we think we do.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, the Apostle Paul writes, and this kind of knowing is what he means (Colossians 3:16). Let the Word of Christ live with you, know you, make its home in you. Sit down and eat with it, drink with it, talk with it, do life with it. Move beyond a snapshot relationship — glimpses of verses here or devotionals there — to a daily life rooted in and revealed by the scripture.

This life of the Word takes studying, takes listening, takes community — teaching and admonishing one another, as Paul continues here.

It also takes time. The best relationships are built hour by hour by hour into houses of faithfulness — that wall built in a storm, this window carved out to see a sunrise.

Life with the Word is no different:

Some days are a peck on the cheek with the Word— a phrase or verse or thought — a passing acknowledgement that you belong together.

Some days are celebrations of clarity with the Word, immersed in truth and knowledge and love. You know deeply and are known deeply and are safe.

Some days are fought for in tears with the Word — I don’t understand, I don’t know, I don’t trust this right now. I don’t like what you’ve said about me. Help me see — help me hope — help me make it through to the other side.

And, as it also is in marriage, it takes all three kinds of days to build our house on the rock. Consistency whispers our quiet faithfulness; celebration and clarity sustain us with hope; rain and floods and winds must come so we know we have drilled down deeply enough to stand (Matthew 7:24-25).

When Mike and I are not constant, our marriage covenant is, and our rest in it grows.

Likewise, though I have questions and fears, God’s Word does not tremble on account of my lack of trust. It stands forever apart from the fading grass and flower of my actions and feelings (Isaiah 40:8). My doubts reveal His faithfulness — my weakness displays His strength. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress — not my own ability to believe or understand — I shall not be greatly shaken (Psalm 62:2).

So I dig deeply, and I am not afraid. I invite the Word to live with me and know me and expose me on all kinds of my days.

This is how His Word dwells in me richly. This is how, in me, His kingdom comes (Matthew 13:18-23).