Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember Me

Whether it's a birthday card or a phone call it's nice to be remembered.

Just to know that somebody likes to think about you and appreciates you is a great encouragement t the soul. In a world that is crowded yet lonely a gentle reminder that someone is thinking about you can literally change your day and your life. Some of us need it more than others but there is something healthy and biblical about taking time to remember one another. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you..." Philippians 1:3

The implications are pretty clear and important when it comes to marriage. When we say goodbye to one another in the morning and go off to our daily tasks and responsibilities isn't it reassuring to know that we will remember each other throughout the day. To know without asking that I will think about and with gratitude remember my spouse. I don't mean some sentimental obligation but a genuine and intentional reminder that my husband or wife is a blessing form God. In addition to remember their particular burdens and to pray for them by name. I can be involved in my wife's world even though we are apart and I want her to know that.

In many ways that is the heart of the Gospel. We as Christians should be a people who love to remember. First and foremost we should love to remember Jesus. A daily reminder of his love for us and his call to honor him should be part of our daily DNA. In turn, that love is reflected in how we remember one another. In a world that is not our home we must remember and remind one another of our first love. Just knowing that my brothers and sisters in Christ are remembering me today is a true gift of the Holy Spirit.

Our marriages should be a picture of that love.

Jesus himself set the example and the priority at the Last Supper when he held the elements before his disciples and told them simply, "Remember Me." Whenever you partake of this super, truly remember who I am and what I have done for you.

Today, let's not forget to remember. May the heart cry of our Savior be the theme of our lives and our marriages.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Stand Corrected

I hate being corrected.

Why does it have to hurt so much? And especially coming from my spouse?!

It doesn't have to be some big confrontation but even the little things can hurt a lot. If I'm honest too often the pain feels deep because my pride is deeper than I'd like to admit. I don't want to believe I still need ongoing correction. I want to believe that at my age I have somehow "arrived" and don't need the ongoing medicine of correction.

I wonder if we spend more time trying to avoid correction in our marriages than welcoming it? I would rather question my spouse's motives and deflect the pain rather than think there is something legitimate I need to hear and deal with. Yes, both of us are messed up and don't always speak the truth in love but if I really believed my husband or wife was an instrument of God's sanctifying love in my life I must look beyond that and welcome the correction in Jesus' name.

The bigger issue here is not my spouse but my God.

The ultimate purpose not only in our marriages but in all of life is that we would become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. That can't happen without correction. God's commitment is that He will do whatever it takes to bring about that refining love in His children. "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves..." Hebrews 12:5,6 We can question everyone else's motives but when it comes to our God there is only one motive He has when correcting His children - LOVE.

That might be hard to remember in this selfish world but if it is true that He is doing the same thing in my partner's life than I have the privilege of sharing in that together. Your primary role in your marriage is not to be the corrector or even the encourager but to be more and more like Jesus in their presence. You live for Him who died for you.

May you find joy even in the Lord's correction and may you even enjoy saying, "I Stand Corrected."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goodbye 2010

A new decade.

What will the next ten years look like? In my younger years I was regularly counseled to have a five year plan. What do you want to accomplish in the next few years? To not plan for anything is to not achieve anything.

Plans are good and even necessary but not if they blind you to what's in front of you. "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9 The paradox is that we can work so hard at where we want to be that we loose sight of where we are today. We really have no guarantees for our tomorrows but we do have have God's promises for today.

How should that affect our marriages for this coming year? As we say goodbye to 2010 what do we want to say hello to this coming year? I don't think you can do better than a renewed desire to seek the Lord together. I don't think there is as better verse for marriage than the Psalmist's call in Psalm 34:3 "Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!"

All the dreams and commitments for this coming year, this coming decade and for the rest of our lives has to start today. What if today were your last day? How would you want to live out this day? The bible is clear as to what God's will is for each day, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

The new year is already upon us. Let's plan now to make the most of the days He gives us in this coming year. Let's make our marriages more than comfortable and trouble free but instead let's be hungry to live each day for and in Jesus.

Resolve not to wait for tomorrow but begin today. Lord willing, may this be a year as never before in your desire to make the most of your tomorrows as you rest in Him today.