"Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ." - George Washington

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TRUE LOVE | preparing for the future

   Dearest readers! I apologize for the prolonged lull. For a few weeks now, I felt rather inadequate to write another post about TRUE LOVE when I had a few of my own issues to deal with. But the Lord has once again proven Himself my Guide, Guardian and Comforter. I will certainly never stop finding things to learn, praise the Lord.

   This topic isn't on my mind as much as it used to be, that's what happens when you keep learning new things. Old lessons move along and become... well... old lessons. But I suppose it's good for me to come back and refresh my memory. And I'm sure the Lord has a purpose. He always does. =) Anyway, I guess one thing God showed me earlier this year was the importance preparing for a marriage, right now. One of the best ways I can imagine doing that, is realizing marriage is hard work. Very hard work. Ask any couple that's been married for a number of years and I'm sure they'd agree. When two people come to know each other intimately, and spend large amounts of time together, problems arise and differences become more obvious. Just letting things go by their natural course doesn't work for a marriage, because the natural course of things is a downhill slope. Marriage takes maintenance and sacrifice to keep it working. And I'm not even speaking from experience. I've asked lots of questions, read lots of books, watched several couples closely, including my parents. It's not aeasy, there's no such thing as a happily-ever-after package deal. Not without work anyway.

   That being said, I'd like to give you the scriptures that have spoken to me about what a Biblical wife should be:
Titus 2:1-8  ~  But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
   I find it interesting that the young women should be taught to love their husbands and children... shouldn't that come naturally? Apparently not. At least, there must be a right way and a wrong way. I won't get into specifics or details, but this caught my attention the first time I read it, and I wanted to throw that out there for y'alls to maybe chew on a little.

   {Discreet} and {chaste} are words that bring to mind a picture of a wise young lady, who doesn't give into foolish behavior, who doesn't share every gritty detail about her personal life. She holds a bit of mystery, and purity, she is a rare gem and people respect her greatly. Wouldn't you rather be considered a treasure?
1 Peter 3:1-12  ~  Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
   Submission has become rather a lost concept nowaday. The feminist movement has perverted the traditional Biblcal role of womanhood as a wife, mother and homemaker, so that it is a shame to stay at home, rather than joining the workforce. Women have become proud and put themselves in roles that only men should carry out. Thus, we have lost the importance of submission to our men. Even the role of running a home has been snatched by females, and fathers and husbands lose the respect that they, as men, really need. Even if you know you can do a better job - even if you know that your boyfriend/husband is wrong - let him lead. Submit, it will truly pay off in the long run.

   Also, girls, did you know guys really prefer girls with little to no makeup? Truly, and even for that fact I don't wear any more than mascara and blemish concealer. I know that if I want a guy to like me, I would prefer it was because I cared more for my character than my apperance. You know your beauty will fade. But your character is what sticks for the rest of your life. Isn't that more worthwhile? =)

   It would be wise to practice these things now while they're easier to learn. Practice with your parents, with your siblings, with your best friends. Because marriage isn't a dream, it's everyday life. But lived with your best friend. =) That being said I shall close. To God be the glory!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TRUE LOVE | love through unity

   I'm going to share with you one of my highest desires for my future marriage, something I believe that marriage is founded upon, and that should be nurtured. I believe it is the key to success in not only a marriage relationship, but any relationship. Have you looked at the title of my post yet for any clues? =) Yup, you're right. Love through unity is what I believe is a key for success in any sort of relationship, whether that be a mere acquaintance, a neighbor, a childhood chum, your best friend from high school, your siblings and parents, or your spouse.

   The first part of unity, begins with the thing we are united in, or rather the being.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5  ~  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
   The first and greatest commandment. It isn't just a cutesy quote. This phrase is what the Jews had inscribed on their door frames, and wore in phylacteries on their hands and foreheads. This was the basis of their religion, it was literally an everyday reminder of who they served and why. And they needed such constant reminders, for they had hearts that were easily deceived. They committed adultery with the Lord constantly, they thought they needed several gods like the nations around them. That's why the commandment says "The LORD our God, the LORD is one!". That word "one" means He is the only one. There are literally no other options to devote ourselves to.

   In a relationship, God always comes first in the equation. He deserves all your energy and love. Doesn't "heart, soul and strength" pretty much cover it all?
Ephesians 4:1-6  ~  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
   What this verse so clearly emphasizes is that when two people have the same passion for the Lord, a calling from Him, they already have the most important thing common. The rest of the facts, like what your calling is, what denomination you are, what country you're from, if you like Ranch dip or Catalina dressing on your pizza, are just added details. This is the body of Christ! Why? Because we all serve one God, who saved us all. We all have the same faith, we all have the same new birth into the same family. It doesn't matter if you're Catholic or Protestant, Baptist or Reformed, you have the same things in common with all your brothers and sisters in Christ.

   Now that you know what I mean by unity, what are you going to do with that knowledge? We have learned to love the Lord, we have learned that people with a mutual love for the Lord already have the most important thing in common. How about a love for other people;  your brothers and sisters in Christ?
Philippians 2:1-4  ~  Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
   This is love:  not a self-fulfillment, but self-sacrifice.

   Not only do we have a chance to lift our friends and acquaintances up, we have the chance to pour ourselves out for them. "Love your neighbor as yourself." See why this, the second, is like the greatest commandment? We are drawn together by loving Christ, and strengthened by loving each other. Find ways every day to edify and bless your siblings, parents, best friends, or spouse.

   This is what I desire most in my marriage, a relationship built on the sacrifice and love of Christ. A mutual devotion toward the Father, which will draw us together to overcome, compromise, and sacrifice, together.