From This Day Forward…

16 Mar

Being at the WIT marriage conference, I kept busy running back and forth making extra coffee for the couples (as they were drinking it by the gallons! 🙂  ), playing the piano for the singing time, keeping up on some of my work from the office, talking with Libby, and just taking everything in.

Even being focused on other things, I was still alert to the teaching that Paul and Jenny were presenting as I was in the main auditorium for most of the sessions. There was a point during the one session that Jenny shared a heartfelt testimony. A few years back, she had suffered a miscarriage. It was a heart-breaking time. Her husband was away on business and she decided it would be the best to tell him the news after he arrived home. She didn’t want to burden him with the sorrow as he was away working. They walked through this valley of death together and God saw them through. However, time passed and after Paul’s breakthrough from sin and coming clean before God and others, they came to a moment of hard realization. One day, Jenny asked Paul that if during that time he was away on business and she suffered the miscarriage, did he visit an adult store. The answer was “yes”. There are often severe consequences to sin and the Lord reproves those he loves.

As I sat there, my heart hurt with them. I felt their pain.

Even though I was touched, I became troubled. How could God allow Jenny – who was perfectly innocent in this situation – suffer the consequence of Paul’s sin? Why didn’t God chastise Paul alone? I remember the story of David and Bathsheba. God took their child but yet that’s easier to accept because they were both at fault. They both failed morally by committing adultery. Jenny, on the other hand, was an innocent by-stander! She had done no wrong – her husband was to blame in this situation!

Later in the day, I talked with Jenny and shared my heart. Jenny looked at me and simply said, “We are one”. Those three words hit me hard, like a ton of bricks! God knew that Paul would be affected the most seeing the ones he loved suffering – more than suffering on his own. It would ultimately cause Him to look to Jesus and repent.

I’m one of those girls that is more of a romanticist. I desire marriage and have sweet thoughts of belonging to a man, serving him, and loving him. I picture days of happiness as we gather around the table for supper with our little children and say we love each other simply by giving a smile and a wink from across the table. But there’s so much to a married life than what appears on the surface.

When two people come together at the altar to recite their vows, do they really realize what they are covenanting before God? Sure, it may be wonderful to love and cherish till death do part, or promise to honor and obey and prefer one another……but what about being willing to take the consequence for your lover’s sin? That’s what happens when a couple become man and wife. That’s what happens when they become one. It is a covenant that cannot be broken.

Would you be willing to say, “I love you so much that, if God deems it best, I will be a vessel that He can use as an instrument of His reproof and correction in your life”? Perhaps that should be said in the reciting of vows! That commitment can only come from a heart full of self-less agape love. The hearts that can express this attitude are the hearts that will stick with it through thick and thin, good and bad. It’s only a love Jesus can give. This is what ‘taking the cross for someone you love’ is all about.

So yes, marriage may be full of romance and bliss but it is also a conscious covenant of  commitment to the very end, no matter what. A thriving marriage will be based on the commitment of being willing to do “whatever it takes” to keep two hearts on fire for Jesus and in love solely with one another. It is a choice to be willing to lay your life down so that the other might live – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – and not just live but thrive!

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6 Responses to “From This Day Forward…”

  1. Lisa March 17, 2010 at 4:19 am #

    A very powerful truth! Sounds like an amazing conference. I’m sure many lives/marriages were transformed!

  2. Robin March 17, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Excellent post, Sara! Very thought-provoking. Being married just these 6 months, I see that in a very small way. Not only do Thomas’s actions and attitudes affect me, but the way I act affects him as well. Marriage is definitely a learning and growing process. 🙂

  3. Lauren Rose March 17, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Very powerful truth! Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been so blessed by Paul and Jenny Speed’s teachings.

  4. April Olivia March 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Sara, what a wonderful post, even though I’m not married! it still speaks to my heart!

  5. Kalani March 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for this post, I learned from it!

    I have a few questions for you Sara, if you have the time. I was searching for a possible email address but I didn’t find one, so I guess I’ll ask here…
    Recently, I have been asked to teach a group of girls(5). Two of the girls are not Christians and neither are their parents, but the girls have gone to church for 5 years.
    Well, I started last week, and told my testimony on blessing others, and had them read supporting verses and read outloud a few testimonies from IBlP newsletters. In the end, I saw that the 2 girls stated how they wanted to repay evil for evil.
    So my question is “Should the 49 Commands of Christ be taught only to Christians(those who are truly saved)? Is it Biblical to teach it before? I’m really confused??
    Do you have any advice in discipling younger girls? I know I need much godly counsel!

    Is it possible you can email me back?

    Thank you,
    Kalani

  6. Sally March 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Wow…what profound thoughts! Marriage is alot of work, but well worth it even through hard times. Thanks for the thought provoking words.

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