Thursday, January 7, 2016
Your Spouse is NOT the Most Important Person in Your Marriage!
Don't you just love a new start? Each year, the very first week or so brings a feeling of euphoria; like you've been given a fresh slate. However, this year was no different...literally. Confused?
The first week of January was no different from previous days, weeks and months before it. Instead of bringing fresh results and renewed vows, it has brought out more of the same - failed marriages; more LE husbands who've gone MIA; more children who will experience the devastation of a broken home; more LE wives wondering what happened.
People...I love you all. I hope you know that. I may have never met you, but I love you because Christ loves you and has called me to love you as well. And so through that love, I want to set aside the mushy, sugar-coated words of encouragement, and give you the plain, honest truth.
Marriage is hard work. It is not something that you can just breeze in and breeze out of. It is an honest-to-goodness, signed, sealed and delivered promise of commitment you made to each other before a holy God.
It is a binding agreement that says,
"You know what? I'm gonna love you no matter if you love me or not. I'm gonna hang in there...batten down the hatches...stay the course. I'm going to put your needs before my own. I'm going to let you have the last piece of cake, not complain every time you leave the light on or find your clothes on the floor. But even more important than that, I'm going to do everything in my power to demonstrate my love for you, even when I don't feel like it or when you deserve it. I'm going to protect the walls of our marriage and not let my job, my buddies, my parents, or anyone else come between us. Finally, I am going to put someone else before you...GOD."
Friends, your spouse should not, and cannot be the most important person in your marriage. For many of you, I know this sounds unreasonable and harsh, but let me explain.
You cannot truly love your spouse the way it was intended for you to love him or her until you love God first with all your heart, mind and soul.
I would never want Rick to put me first. We are two imperfect people with many flaws. If he were to put me first in our marriage, what a sad state of affairs we would be in. I would totally mess it up! Yet, when God is first...when Rick is following hard after God and is seeking HIS will, and HIS direction, and HIS patience, and HIS love, and HIS guidance, then I am receiving the very best gift I can receive.
Oh, you can do marriage without the Lord, but it will never measure up to a marriage wholly filled with the power and overwhelming, miraculous grace and love of our Savior whose love for us knows no bounds.
Now, let me talk to you officers for a moment...
Again, I love you. I appreciate and respect everything you do for humanity every single day of your career. You stare evil in the face and still have to go home at night and feed the dog. Listen, I get that. However, if you are married and have children, you have a responsibility that is of even greater importance within those four walls.
You can fight the bad guy all day...save lives...earn that promotion...wear those stripes, but if you neglect your duties of being a husband and a father, you have failed.
God created you to serve in the capacity that you are serving, but He first established the home. Adam was given Eve, his wife, ever before he was told to go out and subdue creation. (*Read Genesis 1:27-28; 2:22-25)
Do not turn your back on the very ones who have your six. Those are the ones who will stand by you when no-one else will. Those are the ones that will be there to pick you up and tell you how much they love you, when the world is nipping at your heels.
Most importantly, you can't...you can't...YOU CAN'T, neglect your relationship with the Lord. He created you. He knows everything about you. He is the only One who can protect your mind from the devastation you see. He's the only One who can protect your life when you are looking down a gun barrel. He's the only One who can fill you with true inner peace, give you unconditional love for your wife, help you lead your family wisely and humbly, and help you deal with the junk in the department. You need Him, and I implore you to seek Him out.
Love your man. Give him reasons to want to stay. Don't neglect yourself, your home, or your relationship. Make your home a welcoming place for him to hide away from the evils outside. Find ways to continue to turn his head.
Listen more than you speak. Display humility and love. Most importantly, let God be your beacon. When you are afraid...go to God. When you are frustrated...God knows. Tell Him about it. When you are lonely and tired of the daily grind, let God be your source of refreshment.
Your husband cannot and will not fulfill all your needs, but God can. You can't do this alone, and I plead with you to seek Him.
With all that said, I realize marriages are still going to fail and people are still going to be broken, but if you want to start this year off right and on a fresh slate, why not start it off with the One who can put the broken pieces back together.
Marriage...it's not about me or we, but about He and us three!