Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Year of Romance - March!


Mmmm good!
Can I say that after more than 24 years of marriage,
and over 26 years knowing and growing in love with my husband,
I am such a HUGE fan of his?
And a HUGE fan of marriage, and family.
Family is the building block of society.
So goes the family, so goes the nation.

It's my sincere hope and prayer that we will let God work in our hearts to make His Word come alive with regards to this month's topic.

It's appropriate as we approach Easter that we consider Jesus

and His relationship with His Beloved Church.

Further, how that relationship is SUPPOSED to be lived out in this earth in a picture format through marriage and family life.

I want to focus this month on the essential ingredients of servanthood and submission.

No marriage will be healthy without it. It also brings such satisfaction, peace, and joy into your family, into your household. I wonder if our children, nieces and nephews could all grow up in families where the parents put each other first, how different would the world be?

I will be the first to admit, that when I was younger, though I understood a bit of servanthood, because of how I was raised (thanks Mom & Dad!), I did not have a clue about the need for the word many of you may have feared I would come to one day!

Submission!

I think they work hand in hand. True servanthood submits.

There is a give and take, we both knock ourselves out for the other.

But, someone has to have the last word.

That's not us, ladies! :)

I want to clear up some mystery about this topic.

Biblical submission is lovely, sweet and rewarding.

I don't believe "submission" the way the world that is lost understands it, is healthy or helpful. I also don't believe we can submit in the wholesome, winsome way we are intended to, outside of the resurrection power of God living inside of us. I just don't believe it. Our carnal selves will do it for manipulation, fear, and convenience. None of these motives are life giving, and empowered by Christ. If you have never lived this in your marriage, all I can say is don't knock it till you try it! And I say that in love! I have had my marriage both ways, and we are both (and everyone around us) INFINITELY more filled with joy, peace and contentment this way. I realize that many people are in marriages where they feel they can't trust their mate with their hearts and livelihoods. I once was one of those people. I was wrong. On the other hand, some of you have mates where you have to walk a fine line. Because you are unequally yoked. I don't care if he goes to church, that doesn't make him a christian or you either. What worked for me as we made a transition in our spiritual lives, is in the matters I differed with him on (because biblical principals permeate ALL of our everyday lives), I leaned into God, and trusted Him as my mate, to make things right, in my heart and in my husband's heart so we would be in unity. That just grew and grew and continues to this day, only now we are most always "in synch". We do learn! The nutshell caveat is submit where you can, lean hard into God for the areas you have to make a stand, trust HIM day by day and see where YOUR journey takes you. There is NOT a cookie cutter recipe for faith. You must seek God for yourself. I can only share my experiences and hope they inspire you to pursue your own journey!


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When I finally came to understand who Christ really, truly was to me, 1993, I immediately got my swimmies on and began diving into the Word in my baby steps. It wasn't long before I saw that part of what my heart longed for, was put there by Christ, (and part of it I shed, because it was just foolish, worldly values, which I had outgrown). Which is to say, I desired to be cherished, protected and provided for. I don't know if I can properly convey what a strong work ethic I had at this time. What was a strength had grown a bit out of control. And I was diligently working to make my husband obsolete. Uuugghhh! It sounds so ugly to say. And in all truth, I didn't KNOW that I was doing that. I was just so focused on the next step, the next task, and the next want, so it never occured to me (prior to my conversion) to slow down, and consider what he thought about things, much less what God might have to say.


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When I began to know God through His Word,
I began to know myself and my husband much better! I can't tell you the sweetness that came to our marriage, from the time that we had literal "pillow talk" about the verses that God had shown me to be foundational to a mariage. I still can picture the grin he got (he is such a kid, Ya'll!) from that moment on (some 12 years or so ago) it has been a much blessed journey together.

Now, don't get me wrong. To this day I learn to die to self, I struggle, I fail. I repent, get back up again and keep moving forward.

As I changed, he changed. As God grew in me, God wooed him. Now we share faith.

As we both learn to die, my life, our life becomes richer, sweeter and more fruitful. The old Bible saying is so true, Ya'll! You gotta die to live!

I want to close urging you to please do yourself a favor, click on this and read the whole of Chapter 5 in Ephesians. I will close with a portion, but it is much more meaningful, if you read the verses preceeding this, to take it in context.

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,

as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife,

even as Christ is the head of the church:

and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,

so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives,

even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.

He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;

but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,

and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;

and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Ephesians 5:19-33

I hope you will consider visiting some of these other sites listed,
and if you like, chime in with your own contribution to
bringing on the Romance in your marriage! See this post for the rules!





7 comments:

Nicki said...

That was so beautiful! I loved it!! WOW what wisdom you hold right in your hands through your marriages growth!! Love it! I hope to get on this year of romance soon.....oh dear....=)

Denise said...

This was so lovely, thanks for sharing such wisdom. May God always bless your marriage my friend.

Mel's World said...

What a beautiful reminder of how we should nurture, love on, care for, and lift up our marriages.

I am reading a fabulous book right now, Boundaries in Marriage, not because I have a bad marriage, but because every marriage could be better and that takes work, time, and lots of prayer!

freetofly said...

Nicki, Thank you so much for your kind thoughts! Anything I get right is a testement to the power of God transforming me, and transforming us! It's yukky to think of the past, but glorious to consider what God has done in us! I just pray it gives hope to people!

Thanks, Denise. I pray the same for you as well!

Mel, thank you very much! The book sounds great! I have the one for teens, which I am just getting ready to start it today! Let me know what you think of it, I have considered it myself. For the same reason you stated. We live in a fallen world. Which is to say everything decays, unless we work to keep it fresh, and filled with the life and creativity of Christ!

Loved your post today! I just realized another way I need to "watch my mouth" here an 1 hr after reading it!

Thanks to all of you and may your marriages flourish and provide you with comfort, joy and strength!
Maria

luvmy4sons said...

Awesome post dear sister! Amen. A VERY important truth to be learned and it is great that you are sharing how you learned it!

Sharon Brumfield said...

I grew up with the worlds version of submission. And that version was taught in our church. I decided that not man who ever use me as a footstool.
I had to get to know the heart of God to find out that I had been lied to.
I am still learning.As i am learning to submit to God--I am learning to love and submit to my husband. It is funny that many times the wife "gets" it first and then God uses that to bring the husband along.
Thanks for this--I heard a lot of myself in this post.

Sharon Brumfield said...

See better late than never!
I made it!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!