Today it's my great privilege to welcome back for a second time Janet.
Janet resides on the East Coast with her high school sweetheart turned husband and their three daughters. She begins and ends her day with God and strives to still be in constant dialogue with Him between.
Thank you for being part of our amazing community. Hugs, Lynn
I’m often asked the secret to my marriage. We were the first to marry, and the last still married. Marriage certainly is not the glass slippered story I read about as a child. It’s actually hard work. Those of us in mis-matched marriages know it’s even harder work.
Our marriage has certainly never always been this easy going. We have been shaken with such force I can assure you any loose rocks in our foundation ricocheted out. But the beauty is God filled those holes and crevices of impossible, solidifying them, with His grace and mercy.
Sometimes I’m bold declaring my secret is the “biblical principles of marriage I always keep in the forefront”. And other times my message, though still honest, yields an eloquent and gentler response. I considered my answer honest and forward, until I read a recent quote.
"What if God's primary intent for your marriage isn't to make you happy. . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn't as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?"—Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Could my marriage really not be more about my husband and I, rather more about God and me? Is it less about “biblical principles”? Should my answer really be “God”? For days I have pondered this quote. There is ample to feast on in those two sentences.
I know God wishes me happy. Of course a 30’ boat to navigate our local waters every weekend would make me happy. But I can accept that is not the superficial “happy” God desires for me. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit;” Romans 14:17 NIV. I imagine the “happy” God ordains for us is the result of the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” Galatians 5:22 NIV
I have not read the book to reveal how Mr. Thomas defines “happy”. But I do know and trust God’s plans for me. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I know He does, can and will take the bad and transform it with power to exalt and encourage. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Friends, we all have in some form been victim to the ugliness of criticism, harsh repercussions, bitterness and more from our spouse. Jesus too endured these same reactions and a response to what he also knew was truth. But through Lynn, Dineen, 1Peter 3 Group, the Facebook page and this site, we have seen, lived through and are carrying out His powers and promises in those three scriptures. This may not be our ideal vision of happiness, but we are undoubtedly being conformed to the image of Christ, transforming us into His holy children.
To be His children, His holy children, a response is required of us too. Isn’t it? Wouldn’t we need to be in relationship with Him? “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT If we all can agree one of the very fundamental cores of God’s pursuit of holiness within us begins with a personal relationship with Him, then I would have to confess I probably wouldn’t be where I am in my spiritual journey and personal walk.
If my husband were a believer, and I navigating my personal faith walk, I envision a lot of myself asking him questions. Not myself seeking God. Not myself insatiably digesting scripture. Not myself firmly convicted of my beliefs. Simply put, I very well may have a shallow, kiddie wading pool of belief and holiness, riding on the coattails of my husband’s faith.
What if this marriage is the valley you are travelling through as you make your way to stand upon His mountain? Just what if it really isn’t about you and your spouse, but God and His will of relationship and purpose? I don’t know about you, but I’m rationalizing through scripture and experience that Mr. Thomas just may be onto something good here.