Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Guest post: Mrs C on 'What did you expect?'

Two weeks after getting back from our honeymoon road trip, I spent a few days on a clergy wives 'get-away' in Kent. This book was recommended to us so David and I are reading it together on our days off. We are only on Chapter 2 and we both feel it is already blessing us in a mighty way. Having a book you read (listen to) with your spouse is not a bad idea even if your marriage is in great shape.

Marriage is a mighty calling; to love, pray for, encourage and bless someone every day this side of eternity which is summed up so well in this piece that David posted yesterday called 'Marriage is not for you'. This is one to read, even and perhaps especially if you are single, as both David and I were for many years.

"So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

So many people told us that 'marriage isn't easy or a bed of roses' and that the first year is particularly tough so it seemed there is no time like the present to start investing in ours. Most people take their car in for an MOT, service the boiler, and go to the GP for a health check, so why do so many of us not do the same for our marriages? Perhaps it is the lack of time, exhaustion, preoccupation with kids, over work, to do lists, hobbies... and ultimately, not putting Jesus first.

The chapter we read today is called 'Reason to Continue' and was all about this last point:

"Worshiping God as Saviour also means you find joy in being part of the work of grace that God is unrelentingly committed to doing in your spouse's life. So, when your spouse blows it, you will not throw her sin in her face. You will not make her feel guilty for how hard her failure makes life for you. You will not use her sins against her. You will not keep a detailed history of her wrongs against you. Rather, you will look for ways of incarnating the transforming grace of the Saviour. You will be ready to encourage her when she fails and restore her when she falls, and you will not treat her as less righteousness than you.

.. When your heart rests in the amazing wisdom of the choices of a powerful Creator, you have given yourself a reason to continue. When your heart celebrates the myriad of careful choices that were made to bring your stories together, you have given yourself reason to continue. When your heart is filled with gratitude for the amazing grace that you both have been and are being given, you have given yourself reason to continue. You are not alone. Your creating, ruling, transforming Lord is still with you. He has brought your stories together and placed them smack-dab in the middle of his redemptive story. As long as he is Creator, as long as he is Sovereign and as long as he is Saviour you have reason to get up in the morning and love one another, even though you aren't yet what he created you to be."

Although I realise we have only been married a matter of weeks, and many of you will have bountiful wisdom to throw our way, if you do decide to pick up this book, I have no doubt that you will enjoy reading it together. We are finding it helpful to read it aloud, underline bits and make notes at the end of each chapter before praying through what God has revealed to us together.

This book is well worth a read!

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Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful