Read Proverbs 2:1-11
Although my husband and I were married in July, traditionally June is the month for weddings. When I think back to my own wedding almost 39 years ago, I am amazed at all I didn't know about marriage. Although I belonged to Jesus, I hadn't listened to the advice of a friend and therefore I hadn't really begun to nourish myself in God's truth. I'm still learning how to be the wife Jesus wants me to be, but if I may, I'd like to share a few truths that the Lord has taught me. It turns out, as I look at what I have learned that these same principles might be helpful not only in a marriage, but also in a friendship, ministry group or a church.
A. Affirmation. My husband can't always fill me up. Yes, I know that God gives commands to husbands concerning how they should treat their wives. The problem is that no man can possibly fill in all the holes that life's circumstances have already torn and will continue to tear into our lives. God didn't design him to do that; after all, that Is something only He can do. That means that I had to learn to run to God for His affirmation. Sometimes the Lord used my husband to meet that need for me, but I had to learn that it wasn't my job to try to force him to say the words that I thought I needed to hear. As I opened the scriptures, I learned amazing truth, and I received real affirmation as well as other precious truths for my life. When I finally looked for God's wisdom, I received the treasure of His truth, Proverbs 2:1-11.
God had been at work in making me the way I am, Psalm 139:13-16. As a craftsman meticulously creates a masterpiece according to his skill, God with the intricacy He alone has, put me together with purpose, Ephesians 2:10. Not even my inadequacies and weaknesses were out of the Designer's care. Amazing, isn't it?
God had drawn me to Himself, Jeremiah 31:3. He had me in His mind before He created the world, Ephesians 1:4. It wasn't like The Price Is Right where they say "Come On Down" because the producers believe you can add fun and excitement to the show due to your flamboyant personality. Instead, the Living God drew me to Himself according to His personal love for me. It wasn't because of anything that I had done or could do for Him. No, it was merely because He chose to do so. What that means is that since I didn't cause the Savior to love me, He won't take away His love as a result of my failures, Hebrews 13:5.
B. Flaws. Both my husband and I have them, and the Lord might not remove them. I'm not talking here about sin and how one sinner marries another. That is certainly true. Thankfully, Jesus is actively working in each of our lives. He is changing us into His image day by day, from glory to glory, 2 Corinthians 3:18. I'm thinking of the "little things" we each do that might at first seem endearing. Or, perhaps we even go into marriage thinking we will be able to do a bit of a makeover on our husbands. What happens when we discover that he, like us, keeps many of his same traits? As the years pass, some of those traits might get under our skin. We might pray for the Lord to change our spouses, believing that surely, He will do that for us. Instead, He sometimes leaves these traits undisturbed, in order to work in our lives. When we rest in the Holy Spirit's power at these times, His fruit will be displayed, Galatians 5:22-23.
I wish I could remember the author of the blog so I could give her credit for this helpful plan, but I have no idea who she is. However, her idea for dealing with her husband's annoying habit was encouraging to me. As I recall the story, her husband loved coffee. I'm thinking that means he can do no wrong. However, he had a flaw. He left his cups everywhere. She would find them indoors and outside, depending on where he had been drinking the coffee. She tried to get him to pick them up, with no success. She was becoming irritated with the process of trying to change him. One day, she had an idea. When she saw yet another cup lying around unattended, she picked it up and prayed for her husband. That became her habit, and she was the one who was changed. I love that idea. Turning irritation into praying blessing into my husband's life, Romans 12:21.
C. Forgiveness. It has been lavished on me; therefore, I must hold it out to my husband. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, we see a picture of unconditional love, the kind we receive from the Father. One lovely way God displays this kind of love to His children is by keeping no record of wrongs. What an amazing gift. God isn't waiting to pull out a ledger on which He has recorded our sin in graphic detail. Instead, because we have been forgiven, we have received Jesus' sweet righteousness, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
This precious knowledge, as I take it into my life, should fill me with such awe that I long to give that same gift away. And it is a wondrous gift to give. The knowledge that past offenses won't be hurled back at the offender at the time when it will cause the most shame or pain. When I remember the magnitude of the gift given to me by God, I will be able to give it to others, including my husband, Colossians 3:13. God gives new mercies each morning, Lamentations 3:22-23. As I remember that, I am able to do the same.
I am thankful for the wisdom the Lord has given me through His Word and through the example of His children's lives, especially because there was so much, I didn't know when we said I Do.
Lord, Thank You for each couple who has and will get married in June in our little town of Hot Springs. Teach them how much You love them, John 3:16, and please show them how to grow in their love for each other.