buying into the marriage lies

I believe with all my heart that there is an attack upon marriage today. People come together, in holy matrimony, and are ending up in a holy hell. I see it almost every day in perfect strangers – as well as I hear about it all the time from friends. Naturally my heart hurts for the stranger I witness in a store or park, whose marriage is “oh-so-publically” falling apart. And if it is possible, my heart aches all the more for my dear friends who are struggling in their marriage as well. Marriage is meant to be amazing – and with the right tools & support – redemption from the hard stuff a marriage faces is suppose to be life-changing. Yet for many it is not. For many, their marriage is struggling, and even ending.

My marriage is far from perfect, because I am far from perfect. My smokin’ hot wife is truly amazing. Compassionate, merciful, faithful, fiercely loyal and tremendously loving. When communication breaks down in our marriage and we experience a conflict, she is always quick to show me grace, and give me space to process my short-comings, or my needs. We have always worked at not buying into the marriage lies that many today are faced with, and many of which they are believing. Before our marriage even started, we made a commitment to one another, that in our marriage, we will give up our right, to be right – and that we are committed to be redemptive, rather than “be right.” Not buying into the marriage lies takes focus and commitment, consistently – and that’s what makes it so hard.

Recently a friend shared on a social media site a blog called, “3 Marriage Lies“. I read it once, and then I read it again. I read it a third time. And then I called my wife and I told her to read it. I read it so many times and ended up calling home about it because it so clearly articulated exactly what so many people are struggling with right now in their marriages. Whether its been a perfect stranger, or a dear friend, many I encounter are buying into the marriage lies rather than living in the truth and power of redemption. Read this blog and let it encourage your heart, and your marriage. (CLICK HERE to read the “3 Marriage Lies” blog.)

What you just read in the “3 Marriage Lies” is just the start. There are so many other tools out there for you to grab onto – the key will be for you to use them. If you need help, tell someone. Talk to someone, now. Let them know the lies you are buying into and stop going to “people and sources” that you know are just going to agree with you, and fuel the lies you’ve bought into. It’s not working – so stop it.

God never intended your marriage to be a place of pain or isolation. And I don’t want to, for a second, ignore those in a marriage where there is so much abuse happening either that you see no other way out, then leaving. That situation needs help. You need to be safe. You deserve to be loved and secure. What I am talking about, or speaking to rather, is those marriages where people are wounded and hurt and who have bought into a variety of marriages lies that have done nothing but bring down their marriage. God never intended your marriage to be a place like this and I hope you understand that God has no plan to leave it that way – so why should you? Fight for your marriage my friends. Seek redemption over your rightness. Seek healing over pain. Stop buying into the marriages lies and start living out, each day – and perhaps, moment by moment – the truth of what love really is suppose to be…

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrongsuffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

waking up to love

I woke up in the middle of night, facing towards my wife who was fast asleep. Saturday, June 6th made it 4 months to the day, of being married. There are times when it feels like we’ve been married much longer then that. Not in a bad way, we both are sometimes surprised that it’s only been 4 months, but its been an amazing 4 months.

Last night when I woke up and saw my wife comfortably sleeping, I reached over and put my hand on hers. And I got that feeling again…that surreal, amazing feeling that yes, I am actually married and to this amazing woman. As I sat there holding her hand my mind flickered through past years events – memories and images came rushing at me as I began to recall the moment I knew we were going to get married, or the time I did ask her to be wife, and the first time I saw her on our wedding day.

Yesterday at church we took communion. We’ve been going through the book of Romans and this Sunday we were at chapter 14 were our pastor challenged us with this: Our devotion to God is debatable until it can be seen in our love towards others. It’s challenging to always show love and to have a genuine heart of love for others. There are tons of people who are easy to love of coarse, and some, that aren’t so easy. As we began to think about the love of God for us, for all of us, as we prepared for communion, the pastor read from John 13.

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love…

My mind quickly recalled the events that unfolds in chapter 13…
…Jesus washes His disciples feet
…Jesus tells them He will be betrayed
…Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him

John, while influenced by God as he writes, is recalling an actual event he witnessed.

I wonder as John wrote, if he too, like I was last night when I woke up, flooded with images and memories of his time with the Lord. Imagine the powerful beauty of experiencing what he writes about in chapter 13, Jesus Christ showing the full extent of His love…

Imagine experiencing that. Imaging reliving that and remembering that.

Shortly after I woke up this morning one of my first thoughts was about remembering God’s great love for me. One of next thoughts was wanting to remember the times where God has shown the extent of His love for me.

First reminder: the Cross. Second reminder: experiencing His grace…and I could continue. I could continue to write and share how I’ve experienced the full extent of God’s love. Sunday morning, someone wanted to be anonymous and sent an envelope up to Melanie and I after church with gift cards to the grocery store we go to. Somehow, we been making it while I’ve been looking for another ministry position. Well not “somehow”…but with “SOMEONE” we’ve been making it.

Romans 14 was a reminder for me of my calling as a follower of Christ to be a man who chooses to communicate the love message of God to others regardless. Regardless. And Jesus primed my love showing pump using someone else’s desire to show us love, regardless of the credit or recognition.

As I laid in my bed last night, holding my wife’s hand as she slept, I was reminded of her deep love for me. Nearly every image and memory I recalled embodied the challenge of Jesus himself: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Because of my wife, I know I am loved and I know of the love God has for me. Because of Jesus Christ, I too, know that my devotion to Him will be debated upon by others until it can be seen by them.

I don’t want my wife, or my family, or my friends to debate whether God truly loves them because I myself am not willing to ‘be love’ to them. I desire to love and communicate love towards others regardless of how messy it may be sometimes, and regardless of how many times I have to swallow my own pride. I can’t stop thinking back to the disciple, John, and I think back to Him writing this part of the story. He already knew the outcome. The disciples in John 13 were confused at the time by what Jesus was saying and doing, but the saw the outcome. They saw the full extent of His love and then, John came back to do what he was commanded, and that was to communicate that love message. I bet as he remembered those powerful moments with Jesus He too was overwhelmed by His Saviors desire to serve and love others.

I choose to love others, because He choose to love me. And I have a great example and constant memory in my life, my wife. I go to sleep next to her every night and I wake up next to her every morning. As surreal as it feels sometimes, its such a beautiful picture and powerful example to me to always communicate my love for her that Christ has woven into my heart.

How will you choose to remember love?
How will you choose to respond to love?
And, how will you choose to act in love towards others?