February is here and also beautiful paper heart garlands and boxes of chocolates wrapped in red festive paper; why not then, take this time to consider what is the Christian marriage. I will be posting several entries on this topic through out this month (I will also have some guests posting here too!), and I would love for you to join me, to join the conversation as we consider the great and beautiful mystery of marriage.
All Thursdays of Borrowed Words, during February, we will consider what other saints have said about marriage.
Gary Thomas in his book, Sacred Marriage, says:
"Christianity involves believing certain things, to be sure, but its herald, its hallmark, its glory is not merely ascribing to certain intellectual truths. The beauty of Christianity is in learning to love, and a few life situations tests so radically as does marriage.
Yes. it is difficult to love your spouse. But if you truly want to love God, look right now at the ring on your left hand, commit yourself to exploring anew what that ring represents, and love passionately, crazily, enduringly the fleshy person who put it there.
It just may be one of the most spiritual things you can do."
What about writing a letter to your husband telling him what does that ring that he put in your finger means... Yes... "it may be one of the most spiritual things" you could do this day.
"Giving respect is an obligation, not a favor; it is an act of maturity, birthed in a profound understanding of God's grace"
Why not start TODAY looking for evidences of grace in your husband's life? Why not falling in love again? Why not start focusing again on what God has done in him? Why not today?
"Contempt is conceived with expectations. Respect is conceived with expressions of gratitude. we can choose which one we will obsess over -expectations, or thanksgivings. That choice will result in a birth- and the child will be named either contempt, or respect"
If you keep a gratitude journal maybe this month would be a great thing to focus in giving thanks for all that God has done and is doing in your husband; for all that he is; for all that he does for you and your children; for all that he means to you. Let us be obsessed with giving thanks for him!
"Marriage can force us to become stronger people, because if we want to maintain a strong prayer life as married partners, we must learn how to forgive. We must become expert reconcilers. Friction will inevitably develop. Anger will surely heat up the occasion. So we must learn to deal with conflict as mature Christians -or risk blowing off our prayer life in the process (see Matthew 5: 23-24)
Before saying that your prayer life is "missing something", ask yourself if you have resentment against your husband; maybe your prayer life is weak and limp because of the lack of forgiveness towards your husband.
"Ask yourself this question: Would I rather live a life of ease and comfort and remain immature in Christ or am I willing to be seasoned with suffering if by doing so I am conformed to the image of Christ?...
Don't run from the struggles of marriage. Embrace them. Grow in them. Draw nearer to God because of them. Through them you will reflect more of the spirit of Jesus Christ. and thank God that he has placed you in a situation where your spirit can be perfected"
What do you do when struggles come to your marriage? Run away in despair or run to God asking Him to change you, to make you more than Christ? Struggles in marriage as in any other area in the life of the Christian have the purpose to help us grow in our sanctification and mortify the sin still trying to rule in us. If we are aware of this we will definitely deal differently during the hard times.
Being the wife I know God wants me to be and working towards that goal, is also part of what it means to Live in the Sacred, naked before a Holy God, don't you think?
Under His sun and by His grace,