Today is our seventh day, marking a complete week in this challenge. Are you still with us? Good!
I’m happy to report that I’m witnessing a revival. Over 3,000 participants have joined up for the challenge, and I’ve had several people telling me that they’ve experienced a change in their marriage already. God is good, Amen?!
As we continue to move our way through this challenge, let’s not forget the importance of fervent prayer. It’s easy to give up on something once the excitement wears off, therefore we must challenge ourselves to press on.
Marriage can be much the same way. A wedding ceremony, a honeymoon, being a newlywed, buying your first house, starting a family… those are exciting things that give you a reason to smile, but once that newness wears off we must challenge ourselves to keep building our marriage throughout the years.
We Never Stop Building
This afternoon as I was driving in the car I heard a message on the radio from Gary Thomas of Focus on the Family. He compared marriage to a house reminding us how important it is to keep building throughout the years.
Our home was custom built so we had the opportunity of watching it go up day after day. If they would have stopped working on our house halfway through it would have been destroyed long ago. The roof, the shingles, the siding, and even small details like downspouts and soffits are there for a reason. They keep the house safe. Can you imagine if they didn’t shingle our roof? Our house would have deteriorated from the water damage alone.
In addition to that there’s maintenance. After ten years of living in this house I started to notice that things aren’t working as well as they used to. For example, our furnace has been kicking out in the winter and our air conditioner in the summer. If we don’t have a working furnace, the pipes could freeze, burst and flood our home.
Fuel the Furnace Every Day
There’s a furnace in the heart of a marriage that’s fuelled by love and respect. If we want to keep that furnace burning bright we have to add to that fire daily. That’s where the challenge comes in.
I’m reminded of my father-in-law’s cabin. For decades all that they had was a wood-burning stove. I spent a couple of weekends there in the winter. I loved the cozy feeling and the smell at night, but the mornings were freezing cold. Nobody wanted to get out of bed to light the fire, and even then we waited until the cabin warmed up.
The question was, who would make the first move? Who was brave enough to face the elements of winter to go stoke a fire? Who would step out of the comfort of a warm bed to make everyone else happy?
My husband always did it without question, before I even opened my eyes.
Walk in Sacrificial Love
That’s what love does. It calls us out of our comfort zone to walk in sacrificial love. Not just today, not just tomorrow–each and every day of our lives.
It’s easy to say, “Love isn’t 50/50, it’s 100.” But are we willing to live that way? Or do we expect to get as much as we give? Walking in sacrificial love isn’t popular. We live in a world where it’s more important to defy your age than it is to defy your sin. We live in a self-centred culture where the most important thing in life is that you’re happy, and the least important thing is that you’re holy.
We’re all ready and willing to say “I do,” just as long as things don’t get messy. Just as long as we’re getting a good return on our investment.
In chapter four of Messy Beautiful Love, there’s a section called, “Love is Not Self-Seeking.” I write,
Marriage isn’t fifty-fifty. Love isn’t about taking turns, waiting to be served, or keeping track of who apologized last. Why not? Because true love seeks to please another more than itself. When you love someone, you want the best for them, and you hope for the best. Love gives up its right to be right and steps down so that others can shine.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
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