I once read a quote that said that being single allows you to serve like Christ, but being married allows you to love like Christ. I am learning that to be absolutely true.
Many times when in conflict with Jonathan I feel as though he needs to know and admit the ways in which he’s wronged me. My first mind isn’t to decrease so that God can bring these things to his attention, but rather to try to help him see these things myself. Please take note that this is always a bad idea (things you learn in the first 3 months of marriage). As I take my feelings and emotions to God there is one answer that I always receive from him and that is to love.
12Since God chose you (emphasis added) to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Wow. The scriptures literally tell me that since I have been chosen by God to be someone that he loves then this is what my response should be. Mercy. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. Patience. In my pride I want to scream “BUT GOD I AM NOT WRONG!! BUT GOD HE’S WRONG!!” When I feel that way I am reminded of Jesus on the cross and how desperately he may have wanted to scream those same words. I am reminded of how desperately Jesus may have wanted to say “BUT I REALLY AM THE CHRIST!!! BUT YOU ALL REALLY ARE WRONG!!!” I’m reminded of how sinful I can be in my pride to respond in this way. I’m reminded of how much more glory got when Jesus simply submitted instead of fighting to try to prove everyone wrong. This amazes me because I’m fighting to be right when most of the time I really am wrong! But Jesus could have fought to be right when he he really was RIGHT!! Yet, he laid aside the emotions, feelings, and burdens he was carrying for the greater good and so that God may be glorified.
A very wise person told me just a couple of weeks ago that marriage is meant to make you holy, not happy. So simple yet so profound.
Colossians 3:10 says to put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become more like him.
Often times I think that when people on the outside looking in see marriage they want all the great things about marriage. Dating Jonathan and choosing to marry Jonathan was a very sober decision for me. I did not make these decisions because of how much I felt like I loved him or how “right” it felt. I made these decisions because God made it clear that this was his plan. The good times that come are a plus. I’ve talked to many marrieds who say that happiness in marriage is a plus, but it is most certainly not what sustains.
So I’m learning that marriage isn’t about me feeling good. Marriage isn’t about Jonathan doing everything in his power to make me happy or vice versa. Marriage is God putting a huge mirror in your face that says take a look at who you truly are. Now take a look at Christ because that is what I want you to start to look like. I’m learning just how unlike Christ I can be while becoming more and more amazed everyday as I learn more about his character. When I look to the scriptures for how to respond in certain situations and I see Christ’s example sometimes I can become frustrated with God at the fact that he really expects that of me. I’m like God now you KNOW how I am. How do you possibly think I can ever learn to be like THAT? That is when I’m reminded that it’s in and of the power of the Holy Spirit that my character changes and not because I’ve worked so hard at it (something else I am learning). With that I am learning to be more dependent on God. I am learning that God doesn’t want me to figure it out but he wants me to learn how to let him be a Father and teach me his ways.
What an amazing daddy we have. Although I can often times feel overwhelmed by his discipline this morning I simply smiled and said “Wow God you really love me.” He loves me enough to help me. He loves me enough to give me everything I need to be spiritually successful in this life. He has given me step by step instructions via the Bible. He has surrounded me with a support system and much wisdom in my church. He has surrounded me with much love through my family. He has given me someone who is also determined to look more like Christ in my husband. Literally everything that I need is right there if I choose to take advantage of those things.
So for the single that feels as though marriage is the goal know that it is not. Growing more like Christ is the goal because again marriage isn’t designed to make you happy it’s designed to make you holy. For the married that’s feeling the weight of being pruned be reminded of Colossians 3:1-4.
1Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
This morning I am so happy that I have been able to find joy in the pruning. Thank you God for loving me enough to hold my hand and help me on this journey that you’ve called me to.
Jonathan prayed a prayer that stuck with me a few days ago. He asked that God be glorified in our marriage as we are transparent and show people both the great times and the not so great times that we endure. I loved that. I love having a husband that doesn’t want to smile for the camera and paint a perfect picture when things are far from perfect.
So for those who want to know how married life is? Just know that it is making me holy!
Love you all dearly.