Thursday, April 7, 2011
A quick hello!
I wish I had more time to write today. Actually, I wish I had more time to write in general. I have a Word doc going with a list of all the things I'd like to share and talk about! haha. Most people know I love lists. Hopefully one day soon, like this weekend, I'll find some time to sit and address at least one or two big things God has been doing in my life lately. Things I've been learning and what we've been up to.
For now, I only have time to post a couple things that aren't even related and may seem jumbled up.
First, I took a few minutes to update my profile. I remembered that when I started this blog I got swept up in writing my first entry (a long one, I know! I'm working on it) and I forgot to go back and share more about who I am and what I'm passionate about. So if you get the chance you can read my profile page.
Secondly, you may have read the post a while back about marriage and why I got married or why I think it's important and a good thing. This week I read another blogger's article on the same topic. I wanted to share what her thoughts were:
"5 Purposes of marriage: Companionship, spiritual offspring, to glorify God and reflect the Trinity through unity, refinement/our sanctification, and Kingdom fruit. The main purpose of marriage is for us to bare the image of Christ- the love he has for his bride, the church, who he loved and gave himself up for. We reflect the love of Christ when we choose to love our spouse selflessly and unconditionally, whether they are deserving of it or not, despite the fact that they'll hurt us and fail us, and not just if but especially when it's hard to do so."
True love always requires sacrifice. We learned this while wrapping up our small group's study on John Piper's "Blazing Center." God showed his love for us by sacrificing his only son so that we may be reconciled to him. To truly love our spouse requires sacrifice on our part, too. We must deny ourselves (turn from selfishness and what the flesh wants) and serve them selflessly. We glorify God and show others who see our marriage that we have God in our hearts when we choose to love, serve and respect our spouse even if we're not getting the same treatment in return. Jesus sacrificed himself for the sake of others and chose to love us more than his own life, knowing that we would persecute, reject, deny, fail, disappoint and sin against him. The beauty of God's love is that no matter how many times we fail to meet his standards or disappoint him, no matter what things we do and how bad it seems to us, he will never reject or abandon us. He'll never stop loving us- it's unfailing. He'll never stop forgiving us- His mercies are new every morning. So we must try to show this same love and mercy towards each other in marriage. Marriage is meant to be a place of acceptance, companionship, support, unconditional love and endless forgiveness as we live on this earth together as sinners, but pressing on to reflect the character of Christ more and more.
Lastly, somewhat building upon my last paragraph, we were reading "The Love Dare: Day by Day" the other night and I wanted to share the major point it made:
"How many people end up getting a divorce and walk out on their marriage because they say 'I deserve to be happy.' True love does not use its own satisfaction as a barometer for whether or not to remain in love and hold to its commitment."
When you get married, you are binding yourself into a covenant with not only your spouse, but the Lord. You have witnesses to this promise you've made to your spouse and to the Lord, as well. We're suppose to take it more seriously than we actually do. So many people are quick to give up when marriage gets hard. It's suppose to be hard! It doesn't mean that something is wrong with you or your spouse. It's hard to be married to anyone (we're all sinners), so the grass is certainly not always- or never is- greener on the other side. People only exchange one set of problems for a new set with a new face. Marriage isn't about being happy. Don't get me wrong, it often involves happiness! But more importantly, it's about learning to love someone more than you love yourself. It's about learning to become selfless, reaching the end of yourself and what you're capable of, leading you to realize that you need God. He alone knows the love that we all need and has the capacity to give it. Whenever we're having a hard time loving and forgiving in marriage like this, we can go to the one who knows how. His will is to see godly marriages carried out on earth (by godly I mean God-centered). It tests our faith to prove that it's genuine, it reveals our weaknesses to convict us to change, it drives us to the Lord for strength and comfort and direction, it bears witness to others the presence and glory of God, it influences the emotional and physical stability of our children, it advances God's kingdom with spiritual offspring, and it makes someone else's life better (your spouse's :-)
So today, and every day, my goal is not to base how I treat Patrick on whether or not i'm feeling happy, on whether I'm getting "what I need" from him or not, on whether I feel like getting up and making him a sandwich before he goes into work or not, and whether he says the very same thing that hurts my feelings again the next day or not. My goal is to serve and forgive him at all times based on my deep, constant, unconditional love for him that comes from the One who first loved me.