Monday, March 3, 2008

Sacred Marriage

Pastor's sermon was on marriage yesterday. As you can imagine it was not an easy sermon to sit through....I would love to be married right now.
But, I do believe that God's providence supercedes my desire to be comfortable. So, I sat through the sermon determined to learn something for possibly a future marriage or be encouraged by the marriage that I already experienced.
Pastor quoted a wonderful author by the name of Gary Thomas from one of my favorite books "Sacred Marriage". If you have not read this book it is about time you do. The quote is in the form of a question that is the premise of the whole book: "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"
I always use to say that Eric was my particular sanctification. God placed him in my life to help me grow up. And, as I reflect back on our marriage of twenty years I have to admit that there has been a lot of growing up over the years. Through Eric God was able to mold my character.
This is what I don't understand...why did God take away this incredible tool that He had used to make me holy? Even so I know the answer to my question. It is found throughout the Word of God...He has another plan now. Eric's job was done even though God's work in my life is not.
His death and my mourning is another step on the road to holiness. Will I accept the challenge or refuse to follow? It is written on my heart to continue on....perseverance of the saints.
My challenge to you is to see your husband or wife as a gift from God. Not in the "lucky to have him" kind of gift but rather a gift of sanctification. Find milestones in your own life that show the growth in your character through the help of your spouse. If you can't find much then set your focus of your marriage on holiness rather than happiness and you will see God work through your marriage. By the way, one of the side benefits is that true happiness comes to those who seek holiness in their marriage. I had that...wish I still had it but I continue to trust (again that word comes up) in God's sovereign plan.

11 comments:

CristyLynn said...

Thank you, Heather, for the reminder. I "enjoyed" such a milestone this weekend. I never realized how selfish and proud I am until I got married.
We pray for you and your family every night before we put Isaiah to bed, then Isaiah and I pray for you every morning when we read together.
Maybe this summer I can give you the hug that I've been longing to give you!
Thank you again for sharing your heart!

countrymomtx said...

Thanks Heather. I will get that book. I continue to pray for you. Cindy in West Texas

kristi said...

Priceless. Thanks for writing, Heather.

As One Voice said...

So true, I would never have grown up, let alone become the person I am today (better than I used to be, tho' still in progress) if it were not for the work God has done in my life through my precious husband who is ever-faithful, always loving and full of patience. I am so glad the two of us take time to share daily and he knows exactly how great a blessing he has been and continues to be in my life. Not only that, but I know what a treasured blessing I am to him as well.

Continuing in prayer for you all ~
Diana Ortega

Kelly said...

Continuing in prayer for you and wishing I could hug you and lend you my shoulder to cry on! The Lord places you on my heart at all kinds of odd times day and night...so I continue to lift you up to Him for the comfort and peace that only He can provide you!
In His love,
Kelly in Tucson

DeniseinSC said...

Heather, thank you once again for your words. Reading your heart has truly been like your being a mentor to me through your blog. Again, I just only wish it were through a set of different circumstances! Stay in His grip, Denise H.

felmleyfam said...

" I will sing of your mercy that leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy"

precious words you shared to day, thank you for sharing your life

praying for your family, we can see God answering our prayers for you and it brings Him glory indeed.

yes, husbands are a tool for our holiness, chokes me up being privaleged to be molded by the Lords choosing (our husbands and also our Lord personally)

You are working heartily for your new husband Christ Jesus and your sweet Eric would be proud (afterall he was obeying the Lord by leading you and loving you toward walking in the Spirit).

Praying for your walk ahead.

Jam 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Shanna said...

Heather-

I read every post even though I dont comment on every one. Your posts really do help me remember how truly blesses I am. You help me see what I have my eyes closed to.

But, this post has really hit home.

"My challenge to you is to see your husband or wife as a gift from God. Not in the "lucky to have him" kind of gift but rather a gift of sanctification. Find milestones in your own life that show the growth in your character through the help of your spouse. If you can't find much then set your focus of your marriage on holiness rather than happiness and you will see God work through your marriage."

I accept this challenge and know that the Lord will show me things that I need.

Shanna from PW

S & C & C's Gram said...

Heather... I heard that quote about 8 years ago (marriage to make us holy...) and I've used it several times. I'm so glad to know where it came from!

It's a beautiful concept, and one I think is very true. God's ultimate purpose in all circumstances of His children is their sanctification, so why not in the most important relationship we have?

Heather, I don't glorify you, but I am in awe of God's work in you through Eric's death. Bless you, Friend.

Brandi said...

Heather,

I also LOVE Sacred Marriage and the whole concept behind it, but that's not even why I want to comment. . .

In fact, what touched me was your faith. Your choice to believe that truth that God is refining you even now, that He has a plan and you have a choice on whether or not to follow. . .and then that you allow us to see small bits of that journey. . .well, that encourages and challenges me. Thank you. You certainly have unshakeable faith in unspeakable circumstances.

Thank you,
Brandi

Nan said...

Reading through your archives, Heather, I am crying... and you are teaching me. Thank you so much for your sweet, tear-fraught acceptance of God's will... I have much to learn.