Marriage is hard.
Even the strongest, most godly marriages are put to the test, challenged and opposed.
Now, I am not a devil around every door believin' kind of gal, but I will say this - I firmly believe that the institution of marriage is high priority on our enemy's list of things to devour.
Marriage is so powerful.
With marriage God can multiply His people and each generation can tell its children of His mighty acts. Psalm 145:4
God can teach us how to love selflessly, to honor one another, how to think of someone above ourselves and to be respectful to each other. 1 Peter 3:1-7
Marriage is a daily exercise of the fruit of the Spirit - especially in self-control. Galatians 5:22
Marriage sanctifies. It cleanses. Ephesians 5:25
Ultimately, the institution of marriage molds us more and more into the image of Christ.
God uses marriage to purify us.
"Marriage is for our holiness.
Not only our happiness." - Gary Thomas, The Sacred Marriage
Marriage brings Glory and Honor and Praise to the Father.
It is a mystery...this marriage thing. Ephesians 5:32
A sweet couple from our ministry just married this past fall. The bride joked and told me that when they left the courthouse after getting a marriage certificate, they got in the car, looked at each other and said, "What have we done?! We just signed our life away! I just purchased a ticket for you to have access to all of my sin, all of my bad habits and to see how wretched I really am!"
But it is so true. Marriage exposes all of our junk. All sin laid bare.
And that's hard.
When college students went home for Christmas break this past December, Brent was naturally working from home more often. He had a seminary class to finish, support to raise and a few guys still around town to meet.
But he was home more often, nonetheless.
And when home more often, we have more time to get on each other's nerves.
Are you feeling me on this one?
Disclaimer: I am absolutely in love with the man. Oh my goodness, yes. However, he is flesh and blood. And flawed. I all the more. So, just know this before I type another word. :)
I realized this past Christmas break that I am not above reproach in marriage. Although we didn't have a catastrophic argument, I still say hurtful things and my motives are not always for Brent's good.
But sometimes for his harm.
Ugh. I am so full of pride.
Proverbs 13:10 says that pride leads to arguments. (NLT)
Pride is defined here as insolence; arrogance; presumptuous.
And insolence is defined as insultingly contemptuous in speech or conduct: overbearing. Exhibiting boldness or effrontery : impudent.
Prideful, overbearing speech and conduct will lead to an argument...every single time.
But!... I love a "but" ... But with humility comes wisdom - Proverbs 11:2
I want wisdom. I need it. So with humility, I expose my pride dilemma to you and am seeking wisdom from the Lord.
Marriage is for the loooonnnng haul. I'm 33. Let's say Brent and I live to be 93. That's sixty more years together.
I want to live in all humility in my marriage for sixty years.
And in Christ, by golly, I say I will. I long for wisdom. I long for genuine humility. I want Ephesians 5:22-33. This is my prayer. Pray it over your marriage, as well.
So why all of this today?
#1) Because, no one is above it. We all need refinement somewhere in our marriages. Five years of marriage or seventy-five years, we could all use a fine tuning in one way or another.
#2) I am setting the stage for a big announcement.
No, I'm not pregnant.
But...you will have to wait on my next post to find out what it is. How fun!
#3) I am hosting a giveaway. Yes, a giveaway. The first of several to come.
I feel so strongly about the need for an intentional pursuit of our marriages that I am asking you to share this post. Forward it. Share it on twitter, facebook, email, call someone. Encourage a friend to come here and read.
Also, you can click on the Share buttons below this post.
If you share it, let me know what you did and how many times.
Email me - email@example.com, facebook me, leave a comment or text me (if you have my number) and let me know.
You're name will go in a drawing for each time you share it.
And this is what I will send the winner....
A smaller version of the Love Dare book. Not as long, less committal, but oh so good. A great resource! I will actually send you two if you think your hubby would do it with you.
The drawing will go through Friday. I will announce the winner by the weekend.
Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. Hebrews 13:4 AMP
Oh Lord, we come together this morning and esteem the institution of marriage as precious, especially dear, of great price and worthy. It is worthy of all our effort, worthy of all energy and worthy of our humility. Let us not, for another day, passively approach our marriage. But, instead, let us hold it with the highest honor. For Your Glory. And for our refinement. In Jesus Name, Amen.