Now in writing a blog with the word Marriage in it,
I’m not saying I’m a marriage expert.
Heck, I’ve only been married for the past five ish months.
All you who have been married for thirty years,
Or maybe are now divorced,
Stick with me,
Its not really just about marriage.
(I hope at least, it’ll challenge you in life apart from marriage)
Because even in this short time,
Let me tell ya,
You can learn a lot if you’re willing too.
Marriage isn’t always as easy as we tend to think it will be,
As we’re each different people,
With different pasts,
Marrying someone else whose just another person as well.
Just as flawed,
And who falls short daily.
Okay, okay, enough about the depths of marriage !
As this isn’t meant to be just about marriage so I’ll cut to the chase.
What I didn’t know marriage would teach me,
Is how for years I have viewed Gods love for me wrong.
How I have striven, trying to make myself good enough to be loved by Him,
How I have struggled with fears of not truly being saved,
And how I have feared His rejection,
Fearing Him withdrawing His love from me if He was disappointed,
Or if I fell short of being a good enough Christian.
Although I know deep down He is a good Father,
A loving, gracious and merciful God.
Somehow those little lies have been rooted for many years,
Have crept in somewhere,
Maybe from childhood experiences,
Or fears of going to hell.
I’m not truly sure how I could believe He is truly good and yet have fears of not being good enough.
I have begun to notice these things,
The lies that have fueled me to burn myself out,
Desperately seek approval from other Christians who I hold in high regard,
And try to make myself seem as put together as I could,
In hopes that I would be seen as good enough for the Lord.
Now I’m going to throw this out there,
And whether you pick it up or not,
Is up to you.
Or maybe it isn’t something relevant to you,
And that’s okay.
But here it goes,
I think deep within all of us,
There is some lie we have believed about God.
A misconceptions of who He is.
Maybe that He is unfair,
Or that He has blessed some,
And takes from others.
Whatever it may be,
There is something within you,
Within all of us,
That if we don’t begin to dig up that root,
Will keep us from living an abundant life here and now.
An abundant life not in regards to material riches or success,
But abundant in truly know our Father,
Walking shoulder to shoulder,
And being able to freely bask in His love rather than fearful shunning Him away,
Or renaming bitter and angry,
Or stuck in a destructive cycle of running to other things/people for love, acceptance, distraction.
So what I’ve learned through marriage about all that,
Is how Levi’s love for me,
Is more about our Fathers heart for us.
Now let me expand on that,
I have always somewhat struggled in salvation.
Am I really saved?
I mean, I fall short all the time,
Am full of flaws and way off who the Lord died for me to be,
Does He still love me?
How does He still love me and want me when I stumble away from all of who He is?
But laying in bed one evening after Levi and I have struggled to work through things,
For the first time,
I realized the depth of our Fathers heart for me.
I realized it so clearly,
Because of His Word.
I thought about the fact that even when things are hard with Levi and I,
Even when I push him away,
Or am hurtful,
Or fall short,
He continues to press in.
He continues to love me deeper,
Reminding me of his love for me,
Of how he sees me,
And through his constant steadfast love,
I had a glimpse of our God.
A glimpse that just as Levi and I made a covenant in Marriage,
A similar covenant was made with us and our Father through faith.
That He doesn’t leave when things are hard,
But presses in,
Reminds me that His love is unconditional,
That is runs to the deepest parts of our hearts,
The most broken places,
And brings forth healing and restoration.
That He has made a covenant with His people,
Those who have chosen to follow Him,
That He is faithful and gracious.
That a marriage covenant mirrors His covenant with His followers,
And that has brought truth back into my lack of understanding of who our God is.
That He doesn’t simply love us when we’re lovable,
And leaves us when we’re mean.
That He doesn’t see us as we stumble and decide that we aren’t who He wants,
But that He remains faithful to His promises,
He never leaves us nor forsakes us,
Rather He presses in deeper to whisper into our insecurities of not being good enough,
And reminds us that He sees us,
All of us,
Even in what we hate about ourselves,
And loves us all the more.
Now I don’t know about you,
But that blows me away.
That leaves me awestruck that The Lord of All Creation,
Loves people like me,
Who if you only knew sometimes my thoughts or motives,
You would cringe.
But He remains faithful even when we’re fighting to remain in Him,
Even when we seek love in other places,
He fights to draw near to us,
Wooing us back into His loving embrace,
Reminding us that in Him,
We can take refuge,
We can find the love and acceptance that we’re desperately seeking in others.
And in that, we can finally breathe,
Seeing that we no longer need to feel shamed at not being ‘good enough’,
Rather letting His truth soak in,
That because of His Son,
And the blood that He shed,
We are clean,
Our sins washed away,
And we are as white as snow.
Loved not because of what we’re able to do for Him,
Or the good deeds we can accomplish,
But because of who we are not found in,
Jesus Christ and our faith in Him.
We can never be good enough to earn Gods love or favor,
There is no amount of good deeds we can do to make our own way to Heaven,
But through His loving grace,
We can remain in His love when we stumble rather than running back to what He has saved us from.
And so I look at Levi,
Thankful for the beauty of marriage,
For the hard, refining, pruning and testing moments that it brings,
Because it is not leaving me as it found me.
Allowing me to become less,
And Jesus to be made more in my little life.
For apart from Him,
I have a love that is condition,
And a grace that does extend deep to offer Levi,
But with Christ,
I am seeing the depth of what His love is,
And the grace I can extend because of the grace He has extended onto me.
May you keep fighting the good fight,
Seeking to know Truth,
And be able to not just know a God,
But know the Author and Creator of it all and His everlasting love for you.
Have a great Thursday friend,
Keep on keepin on.
(The Book of Hosea and 1 John are beautiful glimpses of our Fathers heart for us)