Friday, 4 February 2011

For Better or For Worse

[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
A recent posting on Family Life Moments to You brought back some old memories. Barbara Rainey commented:
It didn't take me long to realize that Dennis was not like my father. My dad was an all-American ‘Mr. Fixit.’ He loved working around the house and the yard--making repairs, painting, tinkering on the car.”

My first wife’s father attempted to fix everything. So when we got married it was her expectation that I too could fix anything. My father on the other hand couldn’t figure out how to change the batteries in his walkman. (At least I could do that). This was a source of frustration for a number of years. I think before my first wife died she had come to grips with the fact that I am mechanically challenged.

So when I met Kathleen on line one of the first things that I wanted to make clear was that I could fix dinner but anything that required tools was a mystery. Her reply was “would you feel threatened if I can fix things?” How about relieved? I figured I could stand by and hand her tools provided she could describe them to me. This has worked out well, I’ve even attempted some minor repairs.

Kathleen has demonstrated the importance of loving her husband unconditionally. She sees me as a gift from God and she is gracious enough to remember that God is in my life. Now where did I put that hammer?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

A Valuable Lesson - Self Taught

Lysa Terkeurst author of Made to Crave and other outstanding Christian books dealing with practical life issues shared the following excerpt in her blog:

"I’ve wasted many a lunch together feeling grumpy over the dumbest things. Then a few years ago, I got tired of being that wife. So, I stopped asking God to fix my husband and decided to ask God to fix me.

That was hard. Stinkin’ hard. And it was a process. Quite the process.

I would read 1 Corinthians 13 and feel frustrated that my marriage was not giving all those qualities of love to me. Why wasn’t our love patient, kind, protecting, and full of hope?

As I read those Scriptures over and over, slowly, I started realizing I had to choose to make our love those things. That kind of love is an active decision- not a feeling. I would have to actively decide to be patient- to be kind- to be protecting- to be full of hope.

Thankfully, my marriage survived my years of grumpiness."

Haven’t we all wasted some valuable time with those we love because we were in a foul mood or because our feelings were hurt or we were nursing a grudge? Bravo Lysa. First for her willingness to be transparent and secondly for sharing what is one of the most valuable insights that each of us will ever get.

She didn’t come to the conclusion that her husband was to blame for the way things were. She came to the conclusion that she needed to choose to live out 1Corinthians 13. She had to choose to make love a verb. She had to actively decide to behave in a different way.

We might influence our spouse to change but the reality is that we can only change ourselves. There is no guarantee that if we earnestly seek the Lord, to truly attempt to be a 1Corinthians 13 Christian with the help of the Holy Spirit that our marriage will turn out like Lysa’s but it certainly seems like a good place to start. Love is patient… I’m in trouble already.