Friday, May 24, 2013

Some Thoughts About Marriage...

With so many sweet, young friends of ours as well as some of our own kids, either having married  recently, getting married soon, or talking about getting married, some thoughts about marriage and the seriousness of it have popped into my head.

     I'm not an expert on the subject. That's probably not a news flash to 99.9% of you. For the other .1%, I'm not.  I came into my marriage a beautiful shade of green which was probably not uncommon for a young lady who married in the early 1980's. I really do believe that I loved Tim as much as I knew how at that point of my life. It wasn't until I had been married for some time that I understood how little I knew in what loving my husband was all about. I believe most couples who have been married for any length of time will probably say something similar.  The real shocker to me was when I realized that it wasn't about me at all! It went from being about me to being about Tim...and us.

     Let me preface what I am about to say by saying that I do believe that most of those sweet, young friends of ours and children have made wise choices in their selections.  That's a thrill for us to see. They have been able to not just see the present and have the fairytale feelings that go along with getting engaged, planning a wedding and getting married but to look down the road and "see" this person that they are planning to spend the rest of their life with. They have been able to look at some real life concerns...What kind of leader will he be in our family?  Would he be the kind of father that I would want to raise my children? What about God? Would he/she lead me to God or away from God? Would he/she lead our children to or away from God? Is he/she one that will "leave his/her father and mother" and cleave to me?

     Some of what I will say may offend.  That's not my intent. I'm concerned. I'm concerned that far too many are failing to look at God's word when it comes to the seriousness of marriage.  I'm concerned the most when I see both young men and women placing their trust, their confidence, their heart in the hands of one who, from every appearance, has given little, if any, thought to the God who created them. That's scary.  Girls, what are when you thinking when you willingly submit yourselves to a man who hasn't submitted himself to God? You're placing your life, your welfare, your soul in the hands of a man who has chosen not to have God as a priority in his life.

     We know from Ephesians 5 that males and females are equal in their relationship to Christ, but God gives specific roles to each in marriage. Verse 23 gives the role of leadership or head to the husband. Does this mean he can be a dictator or condescending to his wife because he is the head?  Absolutely not! He's commanded to love her as Christ loved the church. He's commanded to love her with an "agape love". That love is the love that seeks what is best for her.  It is chosen.  It is a love done on purpose. There are times when, in a marriage, you have to choose to love - not because you necessarily feel it at the time, but because God has commanded you to love.  (If you've never been in that situation, you just haven't been married long enough!) Verses 28-29 tells men to love their wives in the same way that they love their own bodies, feeding and caring for them. Girls, think about that. Don't be blind. Is he the kind of man that will care for you in this way? Guys, are you willing to love her in the way God has commanded?

     Girls, you are told in Eph. 5:33 to respect your husbands. Is he the kind of person that you truly respect for who he is, the kind of life he leads, the example that he shows to others. Will he lead you to God or will he lead you away from God? If he isn't this kind of person, what are you doing???

     The wonderful thing about my marriage though, was and still is, that we were both trying our best to serve God.  Although we were and still are far from perfect, our goal has always been to please God and when that is the goal, the frustrations and difficulties that come with marriage are small. They can be worked out, usually easily, because the heart is trying to please God. When that is not the goal of both the husband and wife, the frustrations and difficulties can turn small hills into mountains to climb.

     I'm thankful for folks, young and old who have lived their lives in their marriages as Godly examples. What a joy it is to see real love between a husband and a wife.  So many people come to my mind when I think of what it is to really love your spouse. It absolutely can be a taste of heaven on earth.  At the same time, it's heartbreaking to see folks, young and old, make poor decisions that will impact them for the rest of their lives.  Marriage is one of those life long decisions. God intended it to be for life. We've allowed easy divorce to become a part of our culture. How sad. That was not in God's plan at all. Please, please treat the thought of marriage with the prayer and the seriousness that it deserves.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our world took on a smiley face.

     Hey ya'll! It's been a while, I know, and I'm a little bit late with our latest news.  Things have been kind of hectic around here!  Our world took on a smiley face on March 25 when Jarred McCrary asked our Katie to be his wife. Their wedding is planned for June 28...yes, I said June 28. And yes, that's only 3 months! So, we had to kick it into high gear really fast!

I've had so many sweet friends let me know that they will gladly help in any way.  Thanks ya'll!  I've already called on some of you and will definitely be asking for some more much to do!

Anyway, we're terribly excited for them and thank God for his loving-kindness and care.

Here's a peak at some of Katie and Jarred's engagement photo session.  The photographer is Cindy Shaver Photography of Huntsville, AL.   Yes, she's awesome!