January 11, 2006

Christ-Centered Marriage

Isaiah 54:5 - For your Maker is your husband—
the LORD Almighty is His name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
He is called the God of all the earth.

The Jesus Secret
It’s my 13 year anniversary this week. Looking back through our years together, I can honestly say that I have never been as satisfied in my marriage as I am today. Marital bliss is not the same thing as lustful passion (although you can still enjoy a healthy version of that passion as well - even after 13 years, amazingly). A Christ-centered marriage is far more rewarding than youthful puppy-love and romance. I've been falling in love with the same person every day – over and over… for over a decade... and still, God renews us each day and it never gets old. I am married to my best friend. We finish each other’s sentences. Even though our attention gets swallowed up by mundane daily tasks a lot of times, there is a wonderful blessing to having complete trust and faith in God's ability to keep us together through the trails of life. There's no magic pill that guarantees you will stay together and have a wonderful union... it all boils down to sacrifice, service, loyalty, thoughtfulness, and Jesus (heavy on the Jesus part).

Reflecting the Lord
I thought I would share a private moment with my husband from our day today (in honor of our anniversary):

I had a meltdown today. I was on the phone with my life insurance company, considering canceling our policy because the monthly fee is needed for groceries and to prevent us from owing our bank a ton of overdraft fees between paychecks. They had me on hold, and I guess a wave of estrogen must have taken my mind hostage, because tears began to roll down my cheeks and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Oh, isn't it lovely to be female? Maybe I just needed a good cry. It has been a rough year for us.

Kevin called me right in the middle of my emotional puddle… and there I was, trying to hold it together while I had one phone in each ear. “Are you Ok, honey?”

I sat there and he quietly waited while I regained some composure. I thought of how selfless, wonderful, and hard-working my husband is. He is a good Christian man. He loves his family and works hard to support us. I hate getting depressed and crying because in a way, I feel that it is disrespectful to him, and causes him to needlessly worry. “Yes,” I said through tears. “I’ll be OK,” I told him, “I just needed to get this out of my system. You know I don’t break down like this often. Everyone’s entitled to a good nervous breakdown every now and then.” I tried to keep the conversation light. "I'll call you back when I get off the phone."

I love it that he doesn't try to fix me when I cry. Sometimes the biggest thing you can do for God is just listen to someone and let them unload a heavy burden. What a gift that our Father has given us free access to His throne day and night in heaven if only we would call on Him by Name and make our requests known. I love it that Kevin is an instrument that God has chosen to use to show me how much HE loves me. That's what being a Christian husband or wife is all about - being the hands, feet, and heart of God.... and raising up Godly offspring to honor Him.

Malachi 2:15 - Has not the LORD made them one?
In flesh and spirit they are his.
And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.
So guard yourself in your spirit,
and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

Recharging Your Love Battery
I have a feeling this day would have gone much better had I started out with an open Bible and some heavy prayer.
I am not such a loving person when I'm running on empty. Without the Lord, I can do nothing... including having the grace to not get upset by the socks on the floor or the spilled orange juice on your dining room carpet. Just like eating, we need the Word to replenish our "fruits of the spirit": love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

John 15:5 - "I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing."

The day seems to disintegrate if I can find no time for the Lord. Today was one of those days. We hardly got any school done between spending time with Daddy in the morning, sending him off to work at eleven o'clock for his 12-9pm shift, having visitors stop in, and having to get dinner cooked by 4pm (and deliver it to Daddy at work). I was feeling very frazzled by the day's end - and like I had accomplished nothing. Go figure!

Romans 7:18 - I know that nothing good lives in me,
that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it out.

Seeking Wisdom through Fellowship
God has called the older women to teach the younger women. Lord knows, I need a lot of teaching. I tend to learn the same lessons many more times than once (especially the lesson of being consistent with bible study and prayer). I'm glad I went to church this evening. My daughter wrote me a note that said, "REMEMBER 7:00". She's going to make a great wife and mother someday. Being new to my congregation, I haven't been much on Wednesday evenings yet, and I wound up in a new class tonight. After a bit of wandering and a friendly sister in Christ leading me down the hall, I ended up in the older ladies prayer class. God knew exactly what I needed.

Titus 2:3-5 - Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent
in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,
but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women
to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure,
to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands,
so that no one will malign the word of God.

Immersing Yourself in the Word
Listening to Christian radio is an uplifting way to hear God's message to you during the day as well. Sometimes we listen to talk radio with news, other times we listen to Christian contemporary music, other times we just read our books for school while we are driving. Tonight, however, on the way home I heard a sermon entitled "Know Your Bible" by Dr. Michael Youssef. You can guess what that was about. Yep, setting aside time each day to read through the Bible and spend time in prayer! I checked out his website when I got home and he's offering "The Daily Bible in Chronological Order" with a gift to his ministry this month. I am putting this on my wish list. It sounds like it would help provide organized accountability for your daily study and make the task of reading through the whole Bible less daunting.

So, as a resolution (and as a gift to my husband for our anniversary on this thirteenth year of our blessed union together) I am going to start setting aside time each day to renew my soul. This will not only bless me, but it will bless my husband and children. It will fill my cup to overflowing so that I can tackle the day's tasks with grace and efficiency. It will realign my priorities and melt away all anxiety. I challenge you to do the same so that your 2006 will be your best year yet.

Psalm 119:97-105
97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are ever with me.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.


Sheri said...

what a wonderful and timely post. I've been pulling away from Mike a lot lately, poor guy doesn't know why or understand even though I've tried to explain.

Negativity really gets me down, I can feel it eating at my insides, add that to the stress of trying to make ends meet and I am a puddle, I know I have to change my focus, but it's so hard to want to...of course then I am letting Sin win and work on destroying my marriage.

Sheri said...

Oh by the way! IT's national Delurking Week...and I want you to know you are one of my favorite blogs! Have a great day!

rich glasgow said...

Great posts! God has surely blessed you all in so many ways, and your posts are a tremendous blessing to so many. I'll be praying that this year will be more prosperous for you all. We've all been there. Winters are financial headaches for us as well. Matthew 6 is always comforting when the job situation isn't quite making it. Hang in there and have a great anniversary week!

mommy to four j's said...

Happy anniversary, May GOD continue to bless you and your husband thanks for sharing such inspirational post they are all so encouraging.

Sprittibee said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. It helps me to know that even though blogging may be a little selfish at times, at least it can still bless other people.

Sheri - I love your blog, too. I've added you to my prayer list. Hoping that you guys can rekindle the flames and be blessed in your financial situation as well.

Rich - Thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad to know you have been there and came out on the other side of the financial cave. Looking for some light at the end of the tunnel right now... it's pretty rough. Thanks for the anniversary wishes! We're going to have to do a rain-check on the "out to dinner", but at least Kev got the day off! I'll check out Matthew 6 tonight when I sit down to read a bit.

Thanks Mommy to 4 Js. I can't imagine being a Mom of 4! What a job that must be! I salute you. Maybe YOU could teach ME a few things. :)



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