The Way to Keep a Marriage

I once read of a woman who wanted to end her marriage, but she really desired to hurt her husband in the process; to make him pay for her misery. She visited an attorney who gave her this advice: “If you really want to hurt your husband, go home and live with him for 30 more days before you announce your plan to divorce.”

 

During that time, compliment him every day. Tell him he’s handsome and smart, strong and talented. Touch his hand, look into his eyes, and stroke his hair. Make him believe you are madly in love with him. At the end of the 30 days, tell him you want a divorce. That will hurt him more than anything else!”

 

The woman did as she was told. She went home and lavished love on her husband, complimenting and serving him every chance she could. The month came and went, but the attorney never heard from her.

 

One day the woman and the attorney met unexpectedly. The lawyer asked if she was now ready to end her marriage. Shocked, she replied, “No! He’s the love of my life!”

 

Intentional love changes hearts; changes feelings; changes people; changes marriages; changes lives. Grace. Is this not the love of Christ?

 

Marriage

 

Late one evening, my husband and I sat on our front porch, tiki torches lit, and light, sweet words on our tongues. We sat chatting as lovers do, smiles broad and laugh lines deep. Somehow, some way, a word wasn’t fitly spoken, a phrase stung, and the easy flow of conversation gave way to murky misunderstandings and frustrated feelings. Frowns creased, breath shortened, words were curt, and soon, silence hung heavy.

 

He reached for my hand.

 

You know what I think we should do? I think we should spend the rest of the night saying why we love each other.”

 

I looked at him, waiting in self-centered silence for him to begin.

 

I love you because you love to try new things. I love you because you’re beautiful. I love you because you’re passionately in love with God.

 

Convicted and humbled, I answered: “I love you because you’re trying. I love you because you make me laugh. I love you because you moved in with your mother-in-law. I love you because you’re honorable.”

 

I love you because you’re a good Mama. I love you because you play with the dog even when she drives you batty. I love you because you love books.

 

I love you because you’ve never even considered that changing diapers and giving baths wasn’t ‘your job’. I love you because there’s nothing that ever sways your dedication to those you love.”

 

I love you…always.

 

I looked over and smiled.

 

Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious.Ecclesiastes 10:12

 

Isn’t this the way to keep a marriage?

 

Successful Marriage

 

Intentional love, intentional grace, always.

 

I. Love. You. Always.

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Hard Eucharisteo: The Mingled Cup

A dream died this week. New life began this week. And God was good this week.

A 10-year-old covenant ended with a piece of paper: Dissolution of Marriage. One spouse couldn’t rest in grace and deliverance. The man I called Papa chose a different life, and the Little Blonde is now free.

I asked if she’s okay. Like a sun-kissed daffodil, her face beamed radiant, and she said yes. She knows the lover of her soul will never leave nor forsake, and she stands ready to live, ready to love.

Joy and Pain

When God created the picture of Himself and His bride on earth and blessed their union, He joined two into one, never to be torn asunder. Man’s sin and foolishness have marred the perfect image of God’s love, beauty, and sacrifice. Yet Christ’s redeeming love lives, grasps, holds. The beauty of His passion is seen in those who march forward; those who reach out, take hold of His unchanging hand, and choose to marinate in His grace and goodness and offer up the sacrifice of praise – hard eucharisteo.

“The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, ‘I know, I know’…”

Just Hold Onto This

Everything is eucharisteo. Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things – take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness…

This, the hard eucharisteo. The hard discipline to lean into the ugly and whisper thanks to transfigure it into beauty. The hard discipline to give thanks for all things at all times because He is all good…All is grace because all can transfigure.

Wrestle with God, beg to see the blessings.” Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

eucharisteo

        It always precedes the miracle.

 

Unwrapping the Gifts

949. A woman of strength and love to do life with…I love you, Mama!

944. A new morning and the new mercies and faithfulness I see (Lamentations 3:23)

948. He never leaves us nor forsakes us; He will not, He will not, He will not (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)

716. A day to just stay in jammies and watch movies

945. Spring’s new life

946. Choosing to feel both joy and pain, and stay open to the blessings

947. Nail-scarred hands that hold, cleanse, and restore

 

Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

 

 

*Photo Credit

I Will Stand…In Christ Alone

Not long after my dad died, my mom told me a story. She told me how, when the twin towers crumbled in New York City on September 11th, 2001, the foundations of the buildings that surrounded the massive towers were irreparably moved, shaken, and weakened by the destructive fall. They could not stand.

She was telling me more than just a story, though. I had only been married four short years when my dad died; when my parents’ marriage and all that I had held dear shattered at my feet. My marriage’s foundation was shaken. She was talking about my future; she was talking about my choices.

So I went home, made my choice, stood before my husband, and told him the story. I told him the destruction stops here. We may be shaken, but we will not be moved, we will not be torn down, we will not be weakened. We will stand…in Christ alone.

I also made my choice before God. He knew the story of the towers and the foundations of the surrounding buildings, so I didn’t tell him. I just told him where my heart stood. I told him that the destruction stops here. I told him that I may be shaken, but I would not be moved, I would not be torn down, I would not be weakened. I will stand…in Christ alone.

Nearly eleven years later, I am very near another fall, one that has threatened my foundation. But the destruction stops here. I may be shaken, but I will not be moved, I will not be torn down, I will not be weakened. I will stand…in Christ alone.