Marriage has been such a blessing. Is our marriage perfect? No. We are 2 sinners that have given birth to 4 sinners all living under one roof. Most of the time though our marriage is bliss. The ONLY reason for this is because we have built our marriage on the foundation of Jesus Christ and there is so much joy there.
I teach the girls that the wise man built his house upon THE ROCK, the wise man built his house upon THE ROCK, (sing it with me!), the wise man built his house upon THE ROCK... the rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up and the house on the rock stood FIRM.
"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."
The foolish man on the other hand builds his house upon the sand. Here come the storms again and his house went splat.
It doesn't matter who you are... the storms are coming. What matters is where your house is built. My marriage verse is
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-"
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us."
"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
2 Cor 3:2,3
It will if it is built on Christ.
A strong marriage is one of the greatest evangelical tools there is.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
We have been through a lot of stress with small children and when I was sick for 3 YEARS. Tim faithfully loved me during those years when I was so needy. He gave me shots (that looked like a basketball inflater needle) in non-romantic places... full of medicine that was as thick as lotion while I cried. He has seen me at my worst and still loved me. He held my hand as I screamed my head off delivering a baby with no doctor and no medicine (after he begged me not to for 9 months). He thinks I am pretty when I am NOT. He is pure-hearted and a little naive.
"Kiss me again and again, for your love is sweeter than wine."
Song of Songs 1:2
You all know CS Lewis' story about The Wardrobe, right? Well, Saturday morning, January 19th, 2002 I put on a tux and stepped into a magical wardrobe. I fumbled my way through the events of the day, pretending to pay attention to my best friends and my family, but all the while completely distracted...because I knew it was magical, this wardrobe. I knew I would have a new identity that may be a bit awkward, a new twist on why I go to work, a new filter on where I spend my money...the list goes on. But I was excited. I was alive. A damsel to rescue, a castle to defend. White horses and sunsets. A new chapter, a fresh page...
Little did I know.
When I stepped out the other side of the wardrobe my eyes were opened...someone turned the color up. I spent the best night of my life and felt the warmth of God's smiling approval. No guilt, no shame. Every day on the former side of the wardrobe had just been eclipsed. I was made for this. This damsel was mine, and a life of purpose and promise was ahead of us...
Fast forward 9 years - marriage is amazing. The New World is home. That's my take. We waited on God's best for each other and have found a deep fulfillment, security, and significance in this incredible relationship. Every day of my life since I married Steph I have been exactly who God made me to be. That is to say I was made for this, not that I'm so good at it, but it's what God means for me to be doing. Marriage is having a team-mate. Marriage is being fueled. Marriage is taking flight. But not because it's easy. Steph and I have been through our share, and it's not easy - but it's worth it. I wouldn't trade my life with Steph for anything, even on a tough day..and of course they'll come - in all shapes and sizes, but they are all a chance to get closer to each other and take the relationship deeper.
Here are a few thoughts that I've formed along the way:
1. Nobody wins a fight. Ever. There is no such thing when you love someone.
2. Guys - she is God's girl created to be someone specific...HELP her become that person, ASK her what she needs and make it happen.
3. Guys - Spiritual leadership (girls pay attention) is NOT lofty, religious, and regimented. Nor does it have to be riddled with amazing insights, daily sermons and eloquent prayers. Jesus laid it out. Grab a basin of water and a rag...and wash feet. Spiritual leadership is apologizing. Sacrificing. Crying. Wrestling with it. YOU FOLLOW GOD...and she'll follow you.
4. Girls - LET him figure it out. We are naturally bad at this. Be gentle and don't nag. You can't force it anyway, just do what God asks of you and let Him do the rest. God works in hearts.
5. For goodness' sake, if you are a Christian - DO NOT MARRY SOMEONE WHO ISN'T. I just yelled that. In order to have marriage to the maximus - marriageus rex - you have to marry someone who loves God and is seeking Him.