The world, that which is ruled by the enemy for a limited time only, is operating on extremes. The lines between death and life, just and unjust, between followers of Jesus and those casual about Jesus … the lines are blurred. Evil fires are burning, evil darts are flying, evil is seeking souls.
When my husband woke up after his night shift Friday afternoon, I could almost see the stress. I could almost hear chains clinking, threatening to capture Jason, or us.
nope, not today satan … or ever. In the name of Jesus, our marriage is created in His image. Two people, chosen, just like Adam and Eve, bound together spiritually.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2).
Yes, Lord, may our marriage grow in perseverance, shine more brightly the glory You reveal to those who love you. Jason and I love you, Lord. We need Your comfort and strength, we need Your wisdom and guidance. We are not strong without You.
My soul was downcast from fighting the good fight of faith. I was sad as I slept, sad that more people do not follow Jesus, sad that evil makes it hard for those who do love Him, and sad that my husband is weary.
For when both of us weary, who is strong?
May the God who gives you endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 15:5-6)
Thank you, Jesus, for pulling me close as I awoke Saturday morning. Thank you, Jesus for the words to gently encourage my tired husband. Thank you, Jesus for the gifts of good weather and good health.
Earlier this past week, Jason and I sought far and wide to find two plastic Adirondack chairs. Why you ask? Just so that we could sit together in the sun. We both need more Vitamin D, and we both need each other’s presence.
Much like how Jesus reprimanded Martha for doing chores while He blessed Mary seated at His feet … so it is the same in marriage. If all I ever did was fold towels, clean Jason’s socks, cook him dinner, and send him off to a hard job with a perfunctory kiss, I would be walking further from Christ and my husband!
Our Jesus, ever inviting us into His presence, wants us to honor and serve our spouse with humility, putting them above ourselves.
The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare (Psalm 25:14-15).
Jason and I spent time with our boys, playing Quiddler. Jason helped Jackson work out in the gym.
However, Jason cut his own work out short, so he could take his wife hiking.
I had to silence the devil whispering in my ear that I should not be making Jason do this on his day off, etc. Same old story of guilt and shame.
We grabbed some snacks, made a quick decision, and jumped in his car. Though our conversations and Jason’s heart had not completely let go of world pressures, we were surrounded by undeniable beauty. I stopped to drink it in. Receive His light descending:
God answers prayers even when you are not looking for one. My blogger friend and sister in Christ, Bettie Gilbert, struggles with chronic illness. Recently she told of how a butterfly visited her at the window where she was receiving treatment. God arranged this pretty friend’s pose just for Bettie who told me this was the same kind that appeared to her last week. #onlyGod
While we trudged upon rocks, challenged our aging bodies, I prayed God would lift the yoke off Jason’s shoulders.
Ahead on our trail we spy a fallen tree.
As Jason went forth to inspect, I felt cared for in such an intimate way, Christ’s way. Jason assessed the safety of the path ahead and determined we should turn around.
My spirit breathed in His goodness, giving Jason an opportunity to lead me, direct me all in the name of love.
If in this post I simply listed three ways for spouses to support each other, you would miss the nuances of our gracious, all-knowing God.
And the verse that says our God can do more than we can imagine … we need to plant this truth in the center of our hearts. God is never on break, overworked, wearied out. He is always alert and working for our greater good, not just one but all who love Him.
Pushing ourselves to get out of the house and hike led to doing a new thing in our Adirondack chairs. Jason invited me to come out and sing as he played his guitar last evening.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord (Psalm 27:4-6).
Now mind you, I chuckled because I cannot sing very well, but Jason was not concerned about that. Much like God, Jason simply wanted to share this experience with his bride. For even when there are mounting circumstances beyond your control, you can still serve each other in marriage with the heart of Christ.
In other words, the ruler of this world is not allowed to infiltrate your marriage.
Create an oasis, a place where each of you can retreat and then also where you can retreat together.
Acknowledge the real struggle of dwelling in the house of the Lord when the world does not support that. Pray for your spouse and pray with your spouse to remember God, give thanks, request, and praise Him.
Proclaim that your marriage belongs to He who makes the clouds, the planets, the moon, the seas, the mountains, baby lambs and roaring lions.
Tough times call for the spirit God gave us: the spirit of power, of love, and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Do not delay. Add to your faith daily.
Hallelujah! Our God reigns over all the mess in this world. He has not left or forgotten us. Do you have stress at your job or in your marriage? Do not lose hope. God loves you. He wants you to come to Him with all the baggage.
Though the time we spent together this weekend will not change any events already known by God for Jason’s Monday or Tuesday, it did change us.
If we do not remind ourselves who we are in Christ and who ordained our marriage, the devil will needle his worldly ways into any holy place.
Standing firm means standing upon His truth and promises … and caring for each other in these hard times.
God first, then marriage, then kids, and so on.
How will you serve your spouse today?
I would love to read your comments here on the blog.
En-joy God’s goodness.
Love in Christ,