Covenants Don’t Change

Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ!

That is the general imperative introducing Paul’s specific command to husbands who are to submit to their wives by loving them as Christ loved the church.  Then Paul commands wives to submit to their husbands by respecting them.  Their model is the submission of the church to Christ.

The way a husband loves his wife is likely to change over time.  In fact, the way is likely to change several times over a lifetime.  It would be great if a man could find a wife whom he finds easy to please and he could do the same thing for the entire length of a 75 year marriage without ever causing her to feel unloved.

The way a wife respects her husband is likely to change over time.  In fact, the way is likely to change several times over a lifetime.  It would be great if a woman could find a husband whom she finds easy to respect and she could do the same thing for a the entire length of a 75 year marriage without ever causing him to feel disrespected.

Not likely.

But, truth be told, that’s good.  Mark Regnerus wrote in “The Case for Early Marriage” inChristianity Today (Aug 2009):

“While it may be nice to find an optimal match in marriage, it cannot hold a candle to sharing a mental and spiritual commitment to the enduring covenant between God, man, and woman.  It just can’t.  People change.  Chemistry wanes. Covenants don’t.”

We think those are great lines and they teach a wonderful truth.  As we submit to each other throughout the years, giving each other what we need as husbands and wives, we will have to alter our plans, change our methods, and adjust our course occasionally.  But one thing we must never do. Never quit submitting.  Covenants don’t change.

Proposal

The question from our devotional this morning was:

“Based on the knowledge you have of your spouse now, how would you propose if you could do it over again?”  (Both of you!)

By the way, we love this devotional bookSongs in the Key of Solomon –
by John & Anita Renfroe

May you celebrate your marriage today and thank our God for such a magnificant gift ~ Marriage!!!

Mercy!

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

At the last 1-2-3 Date Night at South Yukon, we talked about mercy in a marriage.  We all need some compassion, some comfort, or some forgiveness from our spouses.  What was the most recent, or what was the most meaningful act of mercy your spouse has shown to you?  How important has mercy been in your relationship?  Tell us about it.

Fireworks in Your Marriage!

We love watching the fireworks show at the Yukon Park over the 4th of July holiday.  Fireworks shows are cool anyway, and the Yukon show is spectacular.  We’ve heard the comment, “There are some fireworks in that marriage!”  Sometimes when that’s said, it means that there are some explosions in the relationship from which you probably want to run.  Other times, though, fireworks in a marriage refer to excitement, not fear.  We prefer to think of it that way.

Fourth of July fireworks are about great events.  For us, seeing fireworks at the Fourth of July is a picture of our anthem line, “Bombs bursting in air!” We see red, white, and blue explosions and reflect on the victory for freedom won in the Revolutionary War.  When there are fireworks in a marriage, there is reflection on some of the great events of the relationship.  Watch your wedding video or look at the pictures again.  Reminisce over the most romantic moment or the best date you’ve had as a couple.  Say your vows to each other again.  Remember a victory over an enemy that tried to destroy your relationship, but failed.  Shoot off some fireworks in your marriage by remembering some great events.

Fireworks are about celebration!  Marriage is meant to be honored (Hebrews 13:4) and celebrated! We all grieve when marriages suffer or fail.  We’ve hurt with the Stanford family from South Carolina and we grieve over the very public breakup of John and Kate Gosselin.  We celebrate when a Christian man leaves a legacy of 64 years of marriage, keeping his promises “until parted by death.”  We celebrate in our own relationships when we keep the ONEness that God created fresh and alive on a daily basis!  There are fireworks in a marriage when celebration for marriage in general, but specifically for our own marriages is an every day event!

Put some fireworks in your marriage!  Kick back with a glass of sweet, peach tea out in the sunshine and laugh together about some great events in your marriage history.  Get together with some friends and celebrate being a “happily married” couple.  That will be a spectacular show everyone loves to see!  God celebrates as he watches, too!

Quest Ministry Conference

The Quest Ministry Conference is June 4-6, 2009 on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University.  The entire program is great!  We are giving two presentations together about beginning a marriage ministry in your church.  Check out the website.  It would be great to see you there.

Become the Right Person

Barnaby Gaitlin, The main character in Anne Tyler’s A Patchwork Planet lamented his own failings while noticing the power of hanging on:

“I knew couples who’d been married almost forever – forty, fifty, sixty years.  Seventy-two, in one case. They’d be tending each other’s illnesses, filling in each other’s faulty memories, dealing with the money troubles or the daughter’s suicide, or the grandson’s drug addiction. And I was beginning to suspect that it made no difference whether they’d married the right person.  Finally, you’re just with who you’re with. You’ve signed on with her, put in a half century with her, grown to know her as well as you know yourself or even better, and she’s become the right person. Or the only person, might be more to the point.  I wish someone had told me that earlier. I’d have hung on then; I swear I would.”

Couples who are starting out, and facing that first seven years of adjustment and family formation, need to hear from Teams of Two who have “put in a half century” and teamed up with who they were with.  Many husbands and wives spend so much of their emotional energy over the years mourning about failing to marry the right person.

Of course, as you date, picking a partner for your life, you should consider Christ-like character, wisdom, stability, kindness, and compatibility.  Every young person should make a list of the qualities he or she wants in a mate and refuse to compromise in the choice.

Even when we have chosen carefully, however, most of us face those days of doubt in our marriage relationships – and too many give up in those days.  Don’t give up.  Husbands, love the wife you are with.  Wives, respect the husband you are with.  Care for each other.  Pursue the dream together.  Fight the battles as one.  Run the race as a team.  Become the right person for your spouse and watch your spouse become the right person for you.

Welcome

“When our marriages mirror our relationship with God, we have hope for the future and experience heaven on earth today!” – Richard and JeannaLynn May

That’s our conviction!  We believe that when husbands and wives begin to live in a way that reflects the relationship of Christ and the church, an amazing relationship with grow!

Come back to the blog often, and check out the What God has Joined website, to pursue real covenant love and to see how you can spread the love to couples you influence.

Top 10 Worst Start

They are in the top 10 for couples with horrible pre-marriage relationships.  His initial interest in her was purely sexual.  In fact, as far as we know, their first encounter was a sexual one.  It’s difficult to tell whether she was even a willing participant or if she felt compelled by his power to give in to something she didn’t want to do.  She was married to one of his best employees.  He already had a large family, too.  She got pregnant and he got embarrassed. After a week of trying to get her travelling husband to get home and have sex with her so that his indiscretion could be covered up, he developed a plot to kill her husband.  He succeeded. And as soon as he was dead, they got married.  Do you think she knew that her new husband had conspired to kill her first?

The secret didn’t stay a secret. Few secrets do.  Everybody knew what had really transpired eventually.  Twenty-five generations down the line, in fact, people knew it, but they were careful about how they talked about it.   Her name was left out of the family lists, though no one could deny her significant role in the family.  She and this lustful, selfish, adulterous, conspiring, murderous husband of hers were the great grandparents of Jesus twenty-five generations back.

Listen, God can take the worst of circumstance, and create something great out of them.  Crummy starts are difficult to overcome, but they can be overcome – with God, all things are possible.  Instead of giving up, do this:

1.        Confess it and repent.  Even if your disastrous start was years ago and you’ve just been living with circumstances, take the time to verbally admit your mess-ups to God and each other.  Don’t just remember how wrong it was, say how wrong it was, and then say that you will never go back to that kind of behavior again.

2.       Persevere through the current struggles.  David and Bathsheba’s baby died.  He had tons of family struggles with direct correlation to their sin, but they stayed together.  Team up with your, and with your God, and work through it.

3.       Envision a prosperous future for you and your spouse.  When you’ve pushed through the difficulties, press on to take hold of a great marriage.  Never be satisfied with a poor or mediocre marriage.

4.       Thank God for the blessings he sends your way.  David and Bathsheba did have another child.  His name was Solomon.

5.       Remember that the greatest victories of your battle might come generations after you.  It’s not all about you.  God has generations in mind.