I have grown, thanks to the Lord, in my understanding of marriage in the last year and have had to reflect on many, many mistakes that I made and continue to make. I do, however, have a great joy in the fact that I am not at the forefront of this movement toward humility and understanding. My husband has taken up his cross to serve our family and lay down his own desires daily to pursue an intimate and tender marriage that focuses on Jesus Christ and his incredible saving power and how we can allow that love to minister to each other in our relationship. Anyone who is married knows that this dying to self is a difficult, ongoing process of mutual sanctification, and God knows that I have royally messed things up in the past. Thank God for his grace and for allowing Tim to be my husband.
One element that we are both developing through is that of the pointed and biblical sermons that Pastor Chris is delivering from the podium. You can check them out at www.faith-bible.net . The leaders' position is that Christian marriages today are failing to do what God intended for them: reflect the redeeming love and grace of Christ in relation to his church. The Bible clearly teaches that God's heart for marriage is that when two people commit to love each other that it is not for their happiness but rather their holiness and moreover God's glory. It is hard, as a divorced woman, to acknowledge that I became a statistic of those failing to fulfill God's high calling, but I do not believe that God is unable to reprimand, resolve our sin through Christ, and restore our ability to admonish and encourage others. I have been so encouraged because much, if not all, of the responsibility of marriage and raising children is placed squarely on the shoulders of men. It is with this understanding, that men are the godly leaders, fully equipped to support and serve their wives, that I have been set free of a task that I was neither equipped for, nor did I desire: leading my marriage.
This submission to God's desired roles and deepening my love for Tim has created a fathomless well of intense love, respect and admiration for him and all he does for us. I know that much of my focus during this first year of marriage will be "us", but I know that I am a work in progress and I hope that God will continue His reforming so that my focus will continually be " for Him" and not just for us; but for now, I am so smitten and in love with the strong and godly man that Tim is as he yields to God's desires spelled out in His word. I just can't say enough about how wonderful Tim is for me. I am also utterly thankful that he continues, by the power of God's spirit, to lead our family to great blessings as we honor God. I pray that your marriage will reflect God's glory. 1 John 4:7-20 states, among other truths about love, that it is only because He first loved us that we are able to love. We are also encouraged to learn to love one another, for only those who know God can learn the sacrificing love that marriage demands. Only through Christ can our marriages be truly and profoundly joyful and enduring. Love, Lauren