Saturday, March 5, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #69* God's Girl: Marriage: Heaven / Hell?

Marriage: Heaven / Hell ?

It’s your choice.
“I have taken you into my arms, & I love you, & I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, & my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us….I place your love above all things, & nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.” -St.John Chrysostom, advises young husbands to say to their wives.
Marriage was designed by God to Image Him more than anything else.
Many people look at us as a couple, & remark on our delight in each other, in the youthfulness of our Love. My husband sends a Love text message whilst I’m having coffee with friends & the look on my face gives away the romantic exchange … Frequently we are asked, “how long have you been married?” … & then comes a familiar choked shock over the answer, thinking that our romance should have grown cold by this stage, but instead is fresh & vibrant as young lovers.
Many envy what we have, as though we were somehow ‘lucky’. But I want to say … it’s not luck, but God’s grace & the strategies He gives. Available for all who are called to live Married Love. It is His Love that is living in our hearts for each other. I will attempt to tell of the decisions we had to make to keep our Love ever-new, or eternal. How we set our sails for success. It’s not just chance. It’s a decision. A firm resolve. To Love no matter what. To believe. To trust in God & persevere. To BE Happily Married. It’s an attitude, … that took us some time to develop & the perfecting of it is perpetual! :) But worth more than silver or gold.

I needed to wake up & realize “the battle is not with flesh & blood but with powers & principalities” … in the thick of battle we often get punch drunk, the dust of the battle field, mingled with blood, sweat & tears distorts vision, & the capacity to reason well. Then it dawned on me:… we were are on the SAME SIDE of the battle for Marital Bliss, we could stop aiming darts & daggers at each other & in exchange: guard each others back. Minister to my beloved rather than being on the offense.
There is an enemy of Love. An enemy of Marriage. An enemy of Holiness & Happiness. This enemy hates & attempts to destroy anything that resembles God. Faithfulness. Kindness. Steadfast Love. Family: the Communion of Love imaging the Trinity. What does this mean? How can we strategically win this battle, with the least amount of damage? For me, it meant I had to choose to Believe marriage could be Happy, Holy, just when everything around me seemed contrary. That I had to put Faith in God’s ability to bring this about & not lose Hope. I had to Trust. I had to refocus… not on the apparent issue but on God’s view. To gain eternal perspective. Where is the prize in winning an argument, by loosing charity? When I made these decisions… many a fight (that had blown up to catastrophic proportions, as they seem to with the least provocation!) stopped almost instantly. It has such Power.
Putting the other first … basics : “if you are faithful in little things I will put you over bigger things” … so broken down day-to-day living, all you do: consider the other first. ie: I pour his coffee before my own. I choose his favorite meal over what I might be feeling like. Also, I choose to pray daily for my beloved, first thing in the morning & all through the day. I help him realize his dreams… He becomes top priority.
Rather than changing him… I had to choose to over look his apparent failing & change myself. This is the most amazing spiritual tactic for victory. It changes the whole playing field & levels the pitch. Suddenly things that have been an issue for years … dissipate. What seemed so impossible… can’t be recalled !
I made the resolve to become my beloved best friend as we once were before courting, his ‘cheerleader’! His Life-Support… mouth-to-mouth included :) , I had to be his Life Coach & Life-Giving Lover all rolled into one! ! What a brilliant task set out by God Himself. An awesome fun filled privileged: realizing I was called by God to inspire greatness in him & with him as a sacred mission!
I try to honor & respect him as a man & the God-chosen head of our home. The question is how? I used to hear these words ‘honor & respect’ & get all kinds of odd interpretations! Deformed by fallen man into Domination. This is not going to inspire anyone to ‘submit’ with the right spirit! So lets look at these words with fresh understanding. One of the ways I honor my beloved, is to appear in a manner that does him proud. I try to look naturally lovely, …I love it when he grows taller as I enter the room when we’re in a public setting, & winks his approval. One of the ways I now see ‘Respect’ is the understanding that he is a man, respected as one, not a half-wit because he may hold a different opinion to mine, not a child who needs correcting, but the man who has been placed over our household in sacred leadership. I need to trust God’s choice in this! … boy, that took some time! :) …& now, I can’t believe how freeing it is to leave it in their hands (God + Ricky). To not be afraid but to rest secure that all things work to good.

keep your Love fresh
Ricky & I made a commitment to continuously work on our Selves & our Marriage, with our Relationship with God as First Place in our lives, as This Relationship inspires all others.
We went for Marriage Coaching. Thanks to “The Love Dare” - 40 days challenge to a better marriage. This was truly blessed experience, please don’t miss the opportunity. But be sure to go through the The Alexander House because they work wonders! We had Matt & Mindy Dalton as our Coaching Couple, & did sessions via Skype! They were brilliant at tweaking what we had & giving us wings to fly to new heights. Mindy said, “We don’t just want your marriage to merely survive, we want it to Thrive!” . Living in the J.P.II – B.XVI Generation (John Paul II – Benedict XVI ) we leap hearing the Call to Greatness, the call to be ALL we can be, leaving aside the grey existence of the norm & rising to new heights of freedom borne on the wings of Grace! His Power, His Enabling, His Victory … our “YES! be it done to me…” or, more simply put:… Amen. :)
There is something very dynamic about this way of Living. It brings a sparkle to every day, problems become wonderful gifts, challenging us to perfection. “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” We can do this not because we’re great, but because He is Great. It frees you up to shine with His glory & not feel like you should hide in false humility, you can be happy, you can have a happy home, & mystical marriage… what is impossible for man, is possible with God. If you’re a Christian, living this redeemed life, is… expected! Or we are refusing His gifts won at such an enormous price. We need to Image God, True Love, & allow this dynamic power of Love to fill the house then spill over the gate to all the world.
Challenge the culture that jokes demeaningly of Marriage & erodes the heart of what God made holy. Guard your Marriage Vocation, a holy call from the Lord, not a ‘ball & chain”. What about Guys Nights Out / Girls Nights Out, whats going on here? Singles who hook up now & then? Married but playing the Single Card? I mean, are you married or single? Which is it? There is only one correct answer. “What God has joined let no man separate.”
We delight in being One Heart, One Mind, One Spirit. Never allow this to be taken from you. There is a lot of pressure out there to socialize in opposite directions. Don’t fall for it.
I’ll have to post on this topic again … it’s going to take me… 4 Eva :)
… God bless!

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