"I put a little water in the dough to make the cornbread crispy," she tells me.  "That's the way your Paw Paw likes it."

She the wife, he the husband.  They've been this way for almost fifty years now.  It's a beautiful thing, this love that they have.  How it has withstood time and stood strong through child-rearing, labor-filling, love-living life.

I want my marriage to like fifty years from now.  Don't we all?

A marriage that bends but does not break.  A marriage that rises out of the ashes stronger than ever before.  A marriage that loves tenderly, laughs warmly, and embraces genuinely.

This.

This is marriage.

A pastor told me recently that a certain amount of pressure and suffering is going to happen in our lives.  He said that when these times of darkness occur, so often people view it as a punishment from God. It's true.  We see it in marriages across the nation.  Husband loses his job, wife says yes to one more thing, children are dashing around town - everyone is crazy from exhaustion, stress, and busyness.  So we lose ourselves to other things instead of each other -the television, the internet, working out, shopping, eating... wistful stares at the opposite sex. Suddenly marriages looks more like two people living as roommates instead of intimate partners in this world designed by God who wants us to choose purposeful living not mediocrity.

The pastor went on to say:

This idea that God loves for us to suffer is wrong.

The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, comforts us in our time of troubles (2 Cor. 1:3). Our God is FOR us not against us.

And our God is FOR MARRIAGE.

For us to embrace change in our society's view of marriage, our marriages must grow in Christ.  Being husband and wife is more than making a mortgage payment, giving our children the best education, and putting money back into our 401K's and life insurance plans.

Marriage is about holding hands.

Fingers laced together through the good times and the bad times. And our God, the one who gives generously and richly provides for us, will give us endurance and encouragement to keep holding our spouses' hand.

Marriage is an investment that God treasures.

God will be your pillar in whatever storm your marriage faces. When marriages derail into abuse, neglect, or pain the husband and the wife must each choose compassion towards the other instead of hatred and deceit. Pain can be brutal yet compassionate love has the power to heal flesh-eating wounds.  Scott, over at Surrendered Marriage says that we have to make a choice to support rather than withdraw in our marriages.

To live a marriage out loud, we must love compassionately, just as our Father loves us compassionately. 

"Is it good, Jack?" she asks at the dinner table.  He lifts his head from his plate, cornbread bitten in half, and smiles with a shimmer in his eyes.  "You made it just the way I like it," he replies.

Compassionate love - this is marriage.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Day 2 – Why?

Day 10 – Pruning

Day 11 – Thank You

Day 12 - Wind in Your Hair

Day 13 - Embracing Change

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