So often, I am struck with thanksgiving for Loren. He is a gift to me in so many ways. He accepts me as I am, flawed & broken. He sees me in my lowest of lows, my angriest of angries, my ugliest of uglies and he still expresses deep, unyielding love. He serves me even when I don't deserve it and he does things without grumbling, things like fixing my bike tires. All in all, although imperfect, he strives to show me a picture of Jesus sacrificially loving His bride. For those reasons and so many more, I am deeply grateful to God for my husband. There is no logical explanation for a man of such sacrificial selflessness, except for the explanation of Jesus Christ and the grace He teaches. Out of reverence for Christ, we choose to submit to one another in selflessness.
I am thankful for a relationship that, at it's core, exists to help me grow into the fullness of who I am. I am thankful for the safeness of this relationship, the purity, the purpose. Without the understanding of Jesus Christ, it is nearly impossible to have a purposeful & impacting marriage. What I am daring to say is that, in order to impact this broken world with our marriage and in order to fulfill the entirety of God's purpose for our marriage, we must understand the gospel, the grace of Jesus Christ. You must seek to understand the selfless & sacrificial love Jesus has for His people, the church. He loves us!
We must not forget grace; when we forget to give grace, we forget that we ourselves need and breathe by grace. We forget to an extent, that we are imperfect and in dire need of a Savior; no matter how long we have been stating those very words. When we fail in giving our spouse grace, we fail in walking with the Spirit of Christ. This is something that is so simple, yet so difficult. We must keep in mind, however: we all fall short, we all fail [to give grace], and while we do, we are completely covered in grace and unfailing love. Whoa.
As I am married, I am learning that my role as a wife, as a spouse, is so much richer than making a home, cooking, respectfully loving my husband and so on. Although I take deep delight in each of those aspects, they are merely tools in shaping me through my most important role. I am so grateful for this deeper and profoundly-covered-in-grace "role" as a spouse:
My role as a spouse is to join Jesus in preparing/creating/shaping/LOVING Loren into the future glory self; into the fullness of Christ. As we journey this life on earth, full of turmoil & painful tragedies, I am by his side cheering him on and loving him towards the feet Jesus. When he offends me, I can either respond in an immature matter (which I too often do) by throwing a fit and telling him just how he hurt me in a very unloving way, OR I can respond with complete grace, lovingly pointing out how it hurt me and how we can both do better next time. What is incredible, is that he is doing the same for me! He, by the grace of God, is preparing me with love to meet Jesus face to face. He has committed to joining Jesus in molding and shaping me more into His likeness. This idea and concept and reality really grows me out of self-centeredness, which I am convinced is the root of all issues in the home.
The idea that I am on-mission with Jesus in preparing the one I love most to meet Jesus [face to face] is such an honor! A privilege. And honestly what a painful, rich, and beautiful journey.
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We fail and we mess up, as every other human does, but we can face one another and ask for forgiveness, ask for grace. Which, when you do mess up you've given your spouse (without meaning to) 1. a chance to grow more into the fullness that is offered and 2. a chance to bring you closer to Jesus' feet. When your spouse freely forgives you, you experience a taste of Jesus. That, my friends, is a glimpse of the forgiving & saving grace of our King; one step closer to the feet of Jesus.
Marriage at its core, is to prepare/grow us to meet Jesus face to face. To sharpen us and mold us more into the fullness of Christ, to help one another grow towards our future-glory-self.
Start dressing your spouse in fine clothing, a pure grace-love, for the day you meet your King.
I have a lot of friends who are just married or getting married...and I crave this freedom for them too.