In July, my husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that we were so young and had such big ideas. But in some ways it seems like we've always been together, and it's hard to imagine that we were ever individuals instead of the team that we have become. I am truly grateful that God has extended us such grace to allow us the opportunity to use our home as a training ground for becoming more like our Lord. When we first got married someone told me that marriage would be more about our learning to become more Christlike than it would be someone making your dreams come true. I didn't understand what that meant then, but I can now say that after many years full of experience "working out" this marriage thing, I can truly appreciate God's wisdom in using marriage as a model to show us His ways.
A dear friend of mine was blessed by Beth Moore's talk on marriage on Focus on the Family recently. So, I looked it up in the archives (http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001921.cfm ), and listened. After doing so, I would like to recommend it. Just be sure not to miss part two also (http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001922.cfm ).
In the talk, Beth refers to "good" marriages and "great" marriages. I have to say that I am so grateful to have a "great" marriage myself. But I can't say that I've always thought it was great. I perceived it as just "good" at certain times in the past. And I've even thought it could stand much improvement at other times! But that's the thing about marriage... it's a covenant, if taken seriously, that should make us strive to improve. I've been way less than ideal to my poor man at times. And I've had my moments of praying the "please change him, God" prayer myself. Thankfully, I learned a great deal from Godly women friends and Martha Peace's The Excellent Wife, and learned to change my heart on that one! This talk by Beth reminds me of some of the chapters out of that book. Lessons I learned about acceptance and Godly love, ridding myself of any selfish, prideful, judgemental and ungrateful thinking about my man changed my marriage in a huge way. And this teaching that I linked above may be able to do that for someone who is learning how to be a wife, like I was, and still am for that matter. Isn't it true that the more you improve in your walk with the Lord, the more you realize how far you have yet to go?
Before signing off on this one, I want to mention to my wonderful husband how much I appreciate his love and patience towards me. His commitment to our marriage is something I have grown to be more and more thankful for with each passing year. The longer we are married, the more I realize how his providing, protection, and servant leadership has gently shaped who I am becoming. He is my superhero! Not because he is perfect, and I certainly don't expect him to be (at least not any more), but because he has made himself faithfully mine.
Enjoy the link. And if you like it, you may want to read The Excellent Wife too. It is full of good stuff, even though I have to say that I did not agree with everything that she says, but I guess, what book fits my thinking 100% anyway? I'm such an independent thinker! But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good, 1 Thes 5:21. God's Word alone is my truth.