It’s a typical hot July day here in sunny Southern California. It’s Sunday afternoon. I am in my office and I can hear my hubby clearing the kitchen of the lunch dishes. I am remembering the morning. I woke today wondering about church or no church. Would he go? Would he stay home?
What do you think happened this morning?
Before I tell you how the morning played out let’s rewind, I think it was Wednesday – no Thursday. My husband and I were in the family room watching television. I can’t recall how this conversation began but, the television was quieted as we discussed the upcoming weekend get-togethers on the calendar.
During this conversation I inserted, “No matter what, you will find this girl in church come Sunday morning.” I smiled. “I have missed it and can’t wait to be there this week.” You see, I haven’t attended now for two weeks. It feels like two years. I made certain that my tone of voice was kind and even keeled as I spoke. I didn’t want him to feel guilt or judgment. I only wanted to assert that church this weekend, was one event I would not miss. The unspoken message hung above us. You are free to go with me; you are free to stay home.
He changed his posture sitting up and leaning forward he said, “You do know that for the past couple of Sunday’s I was willing to attend church. I set the alarm and would have gone with you.”
I should clarify right now that it was me who chose to stay home over the past two Sundays. Not because I was pouting or angry or trying to make a point. I just felt like I needed to be home and let things settle out.
I looked at my man, “You know, I am completely sincere about this Honey, don’t go to church just to please me. Don’t go because you think it will make me happy or that it’s good for our marriage. I promise you, it is okay to stay home and I won’t be mad.”
“I wasn’t planning to go just for you. I want to go for me too.”
Fast forward. It’s Sunday morning. My guy was up late the night before, so I pretty much knew he wouldn’t roll out of bed in time. Then…….
At 9:10 a.m. he shuffled down the hall in search of coffee. A miracle in itself, as he is a definite night owl and up later than usual to boot. I smiled at his tired face. He mumbled something about a nap and sat down with his steaming mug.
I headed off to get dressed and he followed shortly. He was moving slow and I thought to myself, we are going to be late again. But, I kept those words to myself for once and gave him grace.
We arrived at church, the three of us, including teen-daughter. We sat down in the sanctuary with one minute to spare. We were at church together. No anger, no rolling of the eyes, no pressure, no guilt, only love.
Now that’s a great end to this story.
Sometimes I just sit down and ask Jesus, “Why are you so patient with me? I seem to make things harder for You, Lord. Forgive me.”
I have learned many lessons over the past several weeks. It is hard to share with you how my selfishness can get in the way of God’s efforts, how human I can be, and how I can struggle to truly practice what I preach. Gulp, but I pray that someone will read this story and realize that God will go to great lengths to change a selfish little girl like me and to reach out to an unbeliever like my husband. He NEVER stops working on our character, our relationships nor our marriages. He never stops pursing the lost.
And He will never give up on you either. NEVER!
He loves us that much. How awesome is that?
Be Blessed, Lynn