Together, Us {and LINKY}

This is the magnificent work of Christ, taking two me's and joining them together, through the journey of marriage, to create a Christ-like us.

You never really know what someone else is facing. This is particularly true when you get to know people over the internet. For example, this past weekend, my family was restored after an 8 month separation.

8 months of single parenting.

I have 5 kids.

I had our littlest man during that time.

I would like to be able to say that it was because of some godly or glorious reason, but the truth is a lot more messy.  It’s a story for many other days. But here’s another truth:

Marriage is hard work.

Relationships are hard work.

The relationships that challenge us the most have the potential for the largest impact upon our lives. This is especially true of marriage, and I believe that this is an intentional part of God’s design. The Lord continually uses my marriage to mold, grow, stretch and humble me. While this is probably true of most relationships in my life, especially those closest to me,

twittericonMarriage has proven to be one of God’s most effective tools for producing spiritual and personal growth in my life.

When counseling other couples, my husband I refer to this production process as grinding. Grinding is a process whereby God uses us to smooth and polish the rough (uncomfortable) and unsightly (ungodly) edges of the other.

In my marriage, the magnitude of brokenness that each of us brought to the table required that we undergo a lot of grinding.

In many ways, marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and His Body, the Church. At its best, marriage is a living example of self-sacrifice and selfless love mutually exchanged for the benefit of the whole, to the glory of God. At its worse, it is a picture of irate, misguided, and self-motivated people berating, beating and crucifying the one who loves them most. Most marriages are somewhere in the middle, continually on the journey from one end of the spectrum to the other. Many married couples move back and forth between opposite ends more times than they would like to admit.

twittericonMarriage was designed to be a beautiful reflection of God’s love; but it is not for the faint-hearted.

As humans we are born with an innate inclination for survival. Yet the human experience is regularly, directly, and indirectly, influenced by marring hurts. And if we have been hurt at all, our minds and hearts compel us toward self-protective stances.

We long to be whole, healed and restored. But, since the fall of man, we’re born with God-sized holes, which we desperately long to fill. These emptiness we sense inside of us was designed to be filled with Christ, but foolishly many of us forgo choosing Him, and instead endeavor to a person to fit His place. In our search to feel complete, we often choose to partner with people who have specific similarities to the individuals whom we have been most influenced by. If these individuals were healthy, we are encouraged and inspired to seek out healthy relationships of our own. If these relationships were unhealthy, devoid of necessary love and acceptance, we can find ourselves in particularly troublesome partnerships. Subconsciously, we determine to overcome these original hurts by finding long sought-after love and acceptance through new relationships.

Inevitably we bring our past triumphs, hurts, lessons, and scars to these new relationships.

If during the course of this journey, married individuals have surrendered their hearts and lives to Christ, and are committed to walking in a healthy marriage, God can use them to traverse new heights of healing and restoration. Not only will the couple be used by God in each other’s lives, but they will also be used to consistently point the other to Christ, the only One big enough to fill the God-sized hole in their spouse.

However, if the married individuals have not surrendered to Christ, they will unwittingly endeavor to mend their brokenness at the expense of not only their marriage, but their spouse, as well. There is truth to the saying “hurt people hurt people”.

However, we who are adopted into the family of God, as sons and daughters, have the power of Christ dwelling within us! The Holy Spirit walks with us to encourage, empower, correct, teach and rebuke, and He will guide us into all truth, if truth is what we seek.

twittericonAs children of God we are required to love, forgive and offer mercy to others.

These commands are particularly important in the context of marriage. For while marriage offers us an opportunity to experience love at new heights, selfishness and poor choices can bring us to the very depths of pain, betrayal and disappointment. When faced with devastating hurts, the mandate to love, forgive and offer mercy takes on new importance. And, the valley that seems impossible to cross through human effort may very well be the vehicle that God will use to bring individual and marital breakthrough to our homes.

During these difficult seasons, we struggle with the natural human response of fight or flee, quietly weighing our desire, or ability, to deal with the pain of our circumstance. As we are confronted by these most personal storms, if we are willing to humbly examine ourselves, instead of pointing the finger of blame elsewhere, we may very well find we have arrived at a divinely appointed season of supernatural healing and restoration. When we choose to address our own sin instead of criticizing and judging the sin of our spouse, we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us instead of hindering His purpose in and for our lives. If, when given the opportunity to respond in anger, bitterness, and self-righteousness, we instead choose love, forgiveness and mercy we can become instruments of the power of God in our situation. These points of destiny interwoven onto our personal timeline are used by God to accomplish the impossible within and through our lives.

I call these God moments.

Choosing the path of humility for the sake of our marriage when our hurting hearts are screaming “What about me?!” can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. In a marriage, humility demonstrated through love in spite of perceived hurts is a powerful and life-changing choice. These are the choices that break down barriers, bring life to dead feelings, and stir up dying situations. But, most importantly, these are the choices that unite us past our differences, in spite of our divisiveness. Humility demonstrated through love, forgiveness and mercy is used by Christ to stitch together singularly focused individuals into a solidified unit dually focused on the will of God. This is the magnificent work of Christ:  taking two me‘s and joining them together, through the journey of marriage, to create a Christ-like us.

For prayer on this topic visit today’s Daily Hope & a Prayer devotional.

So, for all of you who, like me, feel more like it’s a Wednesday than a Monday, here’s…

motivate-rejuvenate-21


twittericon

“Wait?! It’s Monday – AGAIN?” Visit Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday Linky @ http://bit.ly/1Bigjvx #MotivateRMday #linkup @embracinghiswil

*Author reserves the right to remove links that do not adhere to the rules or reflect the heart of the blog. 
Embracing His Will

Linked at Christian Mommy Blogger.

 

Comments

  1. Thanks, Letitia! Have a lovely week.
    heaven recently posted…Jesus the Christ: A Family Study – Lesson 7: The Light of Ancient and Modern ScripturesMy Profile

  2. Hi Letetia,

    Beautiful. In about 4 weeks, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary. Looking back on the amount of brokeness we both brought to the marriage in the beginning and how we have grown. God has done a great work in us and he uses us to sharpen and grow one another everyday. I am thankful God has sent someone for me to love and to love me in this way, together God used us to bring 5 human beings into this world and learn of another new kind of love. God created a great team in us. I am glad to be walking in alignment with the Lord, because we are blessed in a way that those blessings could only come from God. I pray blessings to you and your marriage Letetia, may God strengthen your unit in the way only He can.
    Latisha recently posted…TGI Saturday # 13My Profile

    • Good morning Letetia! Thank you for sharing, Latisha. You are always such a comfort to my soul. My husband and I are about to celebrate our eleventh year of marriage this month as well! Congratulations to you and us both!
      Letetia recently posted…Daily Hope & a Prayer – April 21My Profile

  3. This post is so filled with truth! Marriage can only be successful when you are willing to become humble, put your own selfish desires aside, and be willing to give 100% rather than trying to make it a 50-50 thing. So thankful God worked in our marriage, too!

    • Leann, it is so nice to meet you! Humbling myself has definitely proven to be a most challenging, but overwhelmingly rewarding assignment. Isn’t God amazing?! Thank you for stopping by and offering encouragement! Blessings, Letetia
      Letetia recently posted…Daily Hope & a Prayer – April 21My Profile

  4. Beautiful and powerful truths that you’ve spoken here, Letetia! Thank you so much for sharing such wisdom with us! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  5. Over the years I have come to learn that I can’t sit around asking “what about me?” when things don’t turn out as I’d like. I did that for many years and it only made things worse. I now ask different questions, like “what are you trying to teach me through this Lord?” and pray for God to take over and to give me the humility to show grace as it is given to me. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with this A LOT but I trust God is working and need to keep that trust first and foremost. As usual Letetia you have written words that speak volumes. Thank you so much.
    Celi recently posted…Engraved By ChristMy Profile

    • Celi, like you I am learning to ask different questions. Especially when I find that I am faced with the same lesson multiple times. And like you, I still struggle A LOT. But, God gives more grace. Thankfully!! Blessings to you! And thanks for linking up!
      Letetia recently posted…Daily Hope & a Prayer – April 21My Profile

  6. 36 years in, I can vouch for marriage being hard work and sometimes a “grind” as you say. I love the graphic about joining two “me’s” into a Christlike “us.”
    (visiting from SDG)

    • Janice, thank you so much for visiting! 36 years is so wonderful! God bless you for your example of faithfulness. My husband and I are celebrating 11 years this year. Yes, the grinding process may be difficult, but it sure has beautiful results! Blessings!
      Letetia recently posted…Daily Hope & a Prayer – April 21My Profile

  7. This reminds me the importance of being kind to everyone we meet because we don’t know what battle they’re going through.

    Blessings!
    Lux Ganzon recently posted…Where Is Your Arrow PointingMy Profile

  8. So happy for you and happy your family is restored!
    FUN WITH A MESSAGE recently posted…6 Best Tips For Preventing MeltdownsMy Profile

  9. Your post really spoke to me today, I have been having trouble within my relationship but I believe God is trying to show me something, he is building strength in me, I can feel it! Thanks for sharing
    Romany recently posted…7 Ways To Take A BreakMy Profile

    • Romany, As a natural introvert, sharing with transparency in order that God might be glorified pushes me beyond my comfort zone. It is such a blessing when I read that God uses my obedience to bless someone else. Thank you for allowing God to use you in my life today! I pray that God continue to strengthen you, and that He would be magnified through your relationship. Thank you so much for visiting! Xoxo, Letetia
      Letetia recently posted…Healing LepersMy Profile

  10. Thank you for your open, honest, and transparent writing here…we all need to share our struggles, challenges, and victories with each other for affirmation, encouragement and prayer. Many blessings to you.
    beth willis miller recently posted…blessed with every spiritual blessing…My Profile

    • Beth, the Lord has been challenging me to a greater level of transparency, so thank you for your encouragement in that area. Thank you so much for stopping by again! Blessings to you!
      Letetia recently posted…Healing LepersMy Profile

  11. I didn’t know how imperfect I was til I got married – grinding, for sure and grace from God. Blessings on you and yours – next to you at Holly’s this morning.

  12. Oh my goodness I completely agree with you!! I have learned so much about myself in my 2.5 years of marriage. I have grown closer to the Lord and my husband in this time and thankfully as we seek to center our marriage on Christ, we are growing stronger through every difficult moment. True love is worth the hard work 🙂
    Sarah Travis recently posted…God is always watching over you — Be BRAVE!My Profile

    • Sarah, I definitely agree, marriage is worth the hard work. I’m so glad that God is being glorified in yours. Marriage definitely goes a lot easier when the focus is where it should be. (And thank you for stopping through!) Blessings, Letetia
      Letetia recently posted…Daily Hope & a Prayer – April 24My Profile

  13. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly with us at Good Morning Mondays about marriage. Thank you also for the link up. Blessings
    Terri Presser recently posted…AQUAPONICS UPDATE #3My Profile

  14. Those God moments are never easy but they sure make us more like Him, don’t they?

    Thanks so much for hosting the link-up and for the encouragement! May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing, my friend.
    Heather recently posted…Peanut Butter Cup BrowniesMy Profile

  15. Beautifully written! We recently had a sermon at church, and were involved in a 5 week series about Relationships. The final one was Parenting and I had to chuckle when our pastor said “Parenting” is hard! Our children are grown but I remember those early days. Relationships are hard, we will be married 31 years May 3rd and our marriage was filled with lots of attacks from the evil one, losses, health issues, I often think back and say to myself and the Lord, I never would have survived had I not known Him so intimately. I feel so blessed to have Grace free of charge daily from the Lord. Having lost my job of 12 years in November 2014, it has been a tough road and I have to hand it all over to Him everyday! Thank you for the kind words. Have a beautiful blessed week!
    Anne recently posted…Spiritual Sunday/Love is…/Blue Monday/Aww…MondayMy Profile

    • Anne, Congratulations on your impending anniversary! 31 years is a beautiful and remarkable thing! My husband and I will celebrate 11 years next month, and I can only imagine the wisdom you have to offer. I pray that God would continue to encourage you through your current season of transition! Blessings to you (and thank you for visiting!), Letetia
      Letetia recently posted…The Vantage Point of Triumph {and LINKY}My Profile

  16. Letitia, I love the heart of this post. I will be featuring it on Grace & Truth tomorrow morning!
    Kaylene Yoder recently posted…5 Ways to Protect Your Husband’s HeartMy Profile

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