Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Marriage: A Testimony to God's Grace

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary! If you had known us the first five years of our marriage you would doubt that we'd ever make it to 27 years. But, what did we expect? We were two sinners committing to a lifetime of love and serving one another. Did we think our flesh and the enemy of our souls would just lie down and cooperate? I think not!

I look back on these 27 years and marvel at the grace God has shown us. Kevin was not a Christian when we married and I was a young Christian. I remember the first time I actually turned to God's Word for help. I had left Kevin after a huge fight and was sitting in a park with my bible. I found a passage in James on strife and thought to myself, 'yep, that is his problem Lord' when suddenly I was convicted that the Lord was talking to ME through those verses. Me? I had thought the entire problem with our marriage was HIM. That was the beginning of a long, long journey of imperfectly learning how to confront the BEAM in my own eye. (Matthew 7) A journey that never stopped and continues to this very day although there are still times that I deceive myself and put the blame on him.

I believe one of the biggest lessons I learned in the earlier days of our marriage concerning living in peace with my husband was not to stay offended at his words or actions. (1 Cor. 13:5) I had a habit of getting offended at something he would say or do and then would make him pay for his sins by either giving him a 'look' or the cold shoulder. I haven't obeyed that Scripture perfectly and at times I still struggle with it but I'm learning more and more how the glorious Gospel applies to my everyday living which is helping me in this area of my marriage.

A holy God who WAS offended by my sin and had reason to be ... yet loved ME (and you) so much that He sent His "ONLY" Son (think long and hard about that) to die in "MY" place so that there would be peace between us. Christ took the wrath "I DESERVED" instead of making me pay the price for it which is death! Now, in light of what Christ can I turn to my husband (but.. oh my... I still do at times) and hold any of his sins or offenses against him when I have been forgiven of so very much!?!

I'm thankful as a Believer that I didn't enter into a binding marriage covenant with my husband alone. I'm so eternally grateful that my God entered that marriage covenant with us because if I know anything at all I know that this marriage would not have worked if God, through His Holy Spirit, had not been constantly working in us to conform us into the image of Christ through every single fight and every single offense. (Romans 8:28,29)

"I love you my husband and I look in hope to our God to continue the work He began in both of us 27 years ago when this young, naive girl saw stars in her eyes when she looked into yours. I'm so grateful to have you as my husband. Thank you for loving me.. warts and all!"