“Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”-Proverbs 4:23
“Thank you, God, to have blessed me with a husband, again”.
In 2001 I was facing the unthinkable. Scott, my husband of sixteen years, died suddenly and I was left behind raising three children. The journey was unforgiving but with my God and His grace, I persevered and finally saw the light at the end of my grief tunnel. Eventually, I found myself dating again. Four years after Scott died, I married Randy. The experience of two weddings was quite different. First time around I was a nineteen-year-old Christian who thought I knew it all; but, was so naïve. There was the bickering, fighting, and threats of giving up and going our separate ways. I so loved him and now know my time with him would end all too soon. When we got married, intellectually I understood the vows, for better or worse, richer or poor, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part. But the second time around, at thirty-eight, my life experiences of growing in my faith and actually losing a husband made these vows come alive and burn into my soul. As Jesus spoke in Matthew 19:6-“So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate”. For the second time, I stood before God, Randy, and a few witnesses, to declare our marriage as a covenant which shall not be broken by man.
When we marry, a man and a woman join as one. In Genesis 3:24 it says-“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”. When we join together, we make a covenant with God, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in death. Marriage is not easy. In many ways, it is like working out. You have to commit to it daily and sometimes it is painful and hard, but the results are rewarding. I love my husband but I don’t like some of his behaviors and I am sure he can say the same about me! It is my duty as a wife to invest in my husband, build him up, and support him. Relationships in general, need to be nurtured, fed and sometimes pruned. There will be disagreements, but a couple who puts God first can learn how to disagree by praying for each other, discussing the issue and compromising on a solution.
Why do we spend more time on watching television, texting, and reading social media then investing time in developing our relationships? What better example to pass on to our children and future generations than a couple who honors God first in their marriage and is committed to working out the differences, building each other up, and growing together.
Another key part for me in loving someone else is learning how to love myself. And this my sistas, is not easy. The enemy constantly attacks my thoughts with doubt, confusion, and fear. I am my worst critic and hardly ever give myself a break. In order to rise above the perpetual downward spiral of self-pity and skepticism, I have to center my mind and heart with my True Love. I am a child of God, therefore I am loved and have a purpose. 1 John 4:19 states, “We love because He first loved us.” I am made in His image and as I continue to seek His counsel through daily quiet time, I realize and affirm I have worth. I am slowly accepting who I am and loving myself, flaws and all.
I am so blessed to have another opportunity to learn from God what I need to work on in order to be a better wife and partner for Randy. I am in this marriage for the long haul and I pray my obedience to God, my husband, and our marriage testifies to others of God’s unconditional love for all of us.
Happy Valentine’s Day