My husband and I are approaching nearly 50 years of marriage, and, we continue to be a work in progress!
If you knew the mess and brokenness we both brought into our marriage, you would have never given us a chance, but with God all things are possible!
There is nothing like marriage to show you your own sinfulness, or the depth of God’s love, or any number of other lessons. That there is nothing like marriage to sanctify you and make you more Christ-like. I’ve learned it isn’t about me pointing my finger at my husband and saying, “Look how you need to change” in XYZ area of your life. Instead, marriage is about me addressing indwelling sin in my own life.
A Work in Progress
As I look back I am shocked at how much I needed to be humbled in areas of pride and selfishness, but looking ahead, I confess I see so much more hard work of weeding and pruning. There is an acute awareness that I need a deeper ‘fear of the Lord’ in my marriage – for in it there is the wisdom and understanding needed to finish well.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” ~Matthew 7: 3
“So it all comes back to a question of character. She can be a good wife only by being a good woman. And she can be a good woman in the true sense only by being a Christian woman. Nowhere but in Christ can she find the wisdom and strength she needs to meet the solemn responsibilities of wifehood. Only in Christ can she find that rich beauty of soul which shall make her lovely in her husband’s sight when the bloom of youth is gone, when the brilliance has faded out of her eyes and the roses have fled from her cheeks. Only Christ can teach her how to live so as to be blessed and a blessing in her married life…
The young maiden goes smiling and singing to the marriage altar. Does she know that if she has not Christ with her she is as a lamb going to the sacrifice? Let her tarry at the gateway until she has linked her life to Him, who is the first and the last. Human love is very precious, but it is not enough to satisfy a heart. There will be trials, there will be perplexities, there will be crosses and disappointments, there will be solicitudes and sorrows. Then none but Christ will be sufficient. Without Him the way will be dreary. But with His benediction and presence the flowers that droop today will bloom fresh again to-morrow, and the dreams of early love will build themselves up into a palace of peace and joy for the solace, the comfort and shelter of old age.“
I had to be willing to lay down my feminist, independent ways learned and refined in nursing school and the medical community.
Most important for me, I pray daily for my husband, and asking our faithful Savior to do a work in each of us.
“Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.” ~
The Lord teaches us so much through our marriages. We are so unfaithful to Him and yet when we own up to our own sin, He gives us more grace!
That He does this work in us is a beautiful mystery!
Thank you, Father, for giving us husbands who are not perfect but who are growing (most days) to desire to honor You. May we work to be the wives you desire!
Some of my Favorite verses for power when in need:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”~1 Corinthians 10:13
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”~Ephesians 6:12
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” ~1 Peter 3: 10-12
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11: 28-30
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” ~Philippians 2:3-7
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
“Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” ~Philippians 1: 6