Tonight I had the privilege to witness the marriage of two young, lovely people! I got to take our 5 kids as my date and they all did phenomenally, if I might say so. Our oldest has gotten to the age where she starts to recognize romance and she giggles and sighs over it, so she was all over it when it came time for them to kiss or when they had their first dance…those kind of things.
I heard it said once, that “the funny thing about weddings is it gets you thinking about your own.” It’s so true. I even caught myself doing it tonight at different points during the ceremony and I had to force myself to stop. Today was not about me. It was about God and his creation of marriage. How this man and woman were making the decision to promise, to each other and to God, that they would uphold their end of that covenant. So instead I started to pray from them, rather than think back on how things didn’t turn out quite the way I dreamed they would when we were in the frills and feelings in the beginning.
I prayed that even if they come to a point in their marriage where the struggle feels too much to handle or as they change and grow but hit potholes along the way, that they remember one simple thing….Love is not a feeling. It’s a choice. That’s one message that was shared that I took away tonight. Love is a choice.
Those “in love feelings” aren’t what makes a marriage good or happy. Sure, they help. Just like getting presents on your birthday helps, but it’s not what is going to make it a great birthday. A healthy baby is wonderful! However, having one born sick or handicapped does not make it less of a joy. It’s what you make of it and who you choose to be a part of your life. If you choose to walk in your marriage without Christ and without God’s guidance…it’s going to be near impossible for you to be the spouse you should be. Without His guidance, you will not have a happy marriage. Ever. Marriage is God’s design and without Him in it, you have nothing but a pile of wood. A house without the nails. You can stack the wood together. You can pile the bricks up and make it look like a house. But without the nails and mortar (God and his blue prints), the storms and the rain and the termites and everything else that seeks to destroy your home will cause it to come crumbling down eventually.
So choose to love. If your house is shaky or it’s fallen down, build it back up with what remains and build it with God and His design as your foundation. Add on to the home you have built already and make it stronger. But love like Christ loves you. He loves me despite the fact that I have done some pretty awful things in my life, and if that alone is not reason enough to pay it forward…I don’t know what is. When we make our vows on our wedding day we (normally) have every good intention on keeping them. As life happens, we sometimes falter and sometimes we fail completely. We vow to love and to show that love. When one spouse is not doing their share of upholding that promise, the other is still held to their promise. When neither spouse is upholding their vows, they are both still held to it, or risk displeasing God. (Which never happens without it’s consequences….trust me!)
Show the love of Christ, no matter what. Were we not commanded to love even our enemies? There will probably be many times when you feel your spouse is your enemy. That they just don’t understand or that they will never change or that they will never treat you the way you deserve. When you love your spouse out of obedience to Christ, trust that God can help it grow from the heart and restore the romance that’s been lost. (1 Peter 3)
I pray this couple continues to grow their relationship with Christ individually and as husband and wife. I pray that they seek His guidance when dealing with each other and with dealing with their own weaknesses. That they remember to choose love, even when the other isn’t very lovable. I can honestly tell you, that the love of Christ that my husband showed me over the years played a huge factor in my accepting Jesus as my Savior! He would probably roll his eyes or even laugh at this if he were to read it, but it’s true. Between him and my sister in law, their obedience to God and their love for Jesus and their constantly showing me what a follower is supposed to do, finally opened my eyes to what it was that I wanted. It’s not easy to choose love over selfish desires some days. However, it’s what I am called to do. Every time. Every day. No matter what, until death do us part.
Congratulations D. and A.! I wish you all of the joy imaginable as you overcome your hard times. I hope that you do see hard times. Not because I want you to suffer or to feel pain, but because I want you to see God working in your marriage and to be pushed to grow closer to Him so that you may be blessed beyond measure! Thank you for letting myself and my family be a part of your special day!Tags: blessings, Choice, Choose Love, Covenant, Enemy, Feelings, God, Growth, Husband, Jesus, Joy, life, Love, marriage, Promises, Struggles, Vow, Wedding, Wife
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