Monday, January 18, 2010

What If...

What if these financial burdens were not as overbearing as they are?
What if we really had the time we wanted to make our relationship stronger?
What if our children grow up to love and serve the Lord?

What if we were married as believers and living in Haiti?

We have the luxury to work through and deal with many issues that we face daily. We even have the freedom to whine about how bad things are and how our marriage and service to Christ could be a lot better if we didn't have such pressing pains. Life is hard.

Then I turn on the T.V.

Husbands and wives within a moment of time lost everything. Their homes and their children. Some marriages were literally torn in two when a collapsed building took a partner's life. Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are going through the unimaginable right now. They don't have the privilege of sitting in a comfortable home with all the trappings talking about the future for their children and themselves.

All they can do is mourn and cry out for God's mercy.

I say this not to promote guilt but to call us to do more than survive. We must hold fast and intimately to each other and the promises of God. What would you do? What would I do? What holds our marriage together today so that we have hope for our tomorrows and even during the tragedies of life? The promises of God which are fulfilled in Christ have to be more than token verses on our refrigerators. We need His promises in all of life and in death.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8

Pray for the church in Haiti . Pray for the gospel in your own marriage.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Here We Go Again


Another year. Another decade.

How many good intentions will go by the wayside? What resolutions will I be able to keep?

"I want to work harder on my marriage." Can't go wrong with that!

Yet what does that mean? Will I try not to get so angry so quickly? Maybe I'll try and be more thoughtful and not take my spouse for granted. Perhaps I'll resolve to pray more for and with my spouse to keep our focus on the Lord. Our overall desire is to be more consistent and grateful in order to grow.

The call to love and live out the gospel in our marriages should not be reduced to an annual commitment or resolution. It should rather be an assumed fact based on our vows to God and those witnesses. It should also be based on God's commitment to us in Christ.

Instead of working harder on our marriages perhaps we should rest harder in the love of Christ. So many of us today appear more restless than confident in the love of Jesus. His marriage to us is based on an unconditional love. His call to us is not to "try harder" but to rest. His death on the cross was a direct statement to us.

Forgiveness. Forever loved. Adopted. Never abandoned.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:31,32

Here's a resolution not just for this year but for the remaining years of your life:
"I resolve to be more in love with my marriage to Christ."

The deepest resolve of our souls should be to be so grounded and embraced in the love of Christ that everything in our lives flows from Him. The world, the church, our children, should see a people who love because they are loved. Their identify is not in the success or failure of earthly relationships but in the finished work of Jesus that has truly set us free.

Go rest in His love and have a Happy New Year!