Read His Words Before Ours!
“Do you, Rebecca, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband…?”
Grinning madly like I owned the world, and eyes full of adoration, I said, “I do”.
Euphoric and dreamy, I couldn’t believe what we had done, we were husband and wife!
I was his and he was mine!
A few years went by and it was anything but euphoric and dreamy. I had been desperately looking for love when we met. Coming from a confusing and abusive childhood, I had never found the love and acceptance I hungered for so deeply, yet didn’t even realize I was missing.
I tried so hard to make my husband happy. I did whatever he wanted, just like I’d seen at home growing up, but it didn’t work. I hated it. I hated myself. Plus, I kept failing.
He was so angry at me; I wasn’t who he had expected.
We were emotionally intertwined.
I was caught up in what I thought I needed from him, just as he was with me. We “needed” each other in the un-healthiest way. Our dependency was seeking the wrong source and truly, inside, we were very insecure people. Loaded with baggage from our past, and no tools or sound wisdom on how to fix or even identify our problems, we fought, he yelled, I cried, we both felt empty and alone, despite the growing number of children in our home.
Feeling abandoned emotionally, careening towards divorce,
I couldn’t believe what we had done, we were husband and wife….
I was his and he was mine, whether I loved that reality or not.
I didn’t, neither did he.
A couple years of counseling and our marriage was in a much healthier place. I was learning to value myself while my husband was learning to choose different responses than anger. We were wading through our baggage; good work was happening, but we were still emotionally intertwined. We still sought satisfaction and validation in and from the other.
I had long danced around the daily discipline of spending time with God. I would do it and then stop, even though I knew it was so important. The more I talked to others about the importance of God’s word, the more convicted I became to dwell with Him each day.
One day in December of 2015, I drew a line in the sand, committing to consistently be in God’s Word every single day.
I wasn’t perfect in it, and many days were more “loud” than “quiet” with children clamoring, but God took my willingness and did the incredible.
My world changed. My marriage changed. My passions changed.
I was being transformed!
Jesus literally became LIFE to me.
I saw my need for Him and I thirsted for more and more.
I’d always loved God, but now, there was intimacy. Depth. Real relationship. He was teaching my heart, pouring Himself into me like I’d never known. The months passed and I suddenly realized that the more I’d given myself wholly to Jesus, the less I’d looked to my husband to either make me happy or validate me.
I was the Lord’s and He was mine.
I was His inheritance, and He was mine.
And it was sheer delight!
What of our marriage? It’s flourishing. It’s rich and deep and solid and life-giving and secure and safe and precious. As we each gave our everything to God, making Jesus our sole satisfaction, abundance overflowed. He brought us into Himself and there, in the fire of intimacy with the triune God of the universe, my husband and I were bound tightly together in the Father’s unity.
Delightfully satisfied, I couldn’t believe what we’d discovered; we were husband and wife, a reflection of the unity found in Jesus Christ!
We were His and He was ours!
We were His inheritance, and He was ours.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace,
who has made us both one
and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility….,
that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two,
so making peace,
and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross,
thereby killing the hostility.”
These precious verses in Ephesians refer to Jesus forming one body from two segregated parties, Jews and Gentiles. One followed the letter of the law and one was an outsider to religion, but Paul says both are welcome at the cross of Christ! His sacrificed body was more than enough to break down the walls of pride and prejudices.
God’s heart was for unity and oneness.
Though targeted to an audience of dissenting Jews and Gentiles, with hurts and misunderstandings, these beautiful truths are here for us as well.
Our relationships. Our friendships. Our marriages.
And most importantly, these verses should focus the lens through which we view our relationship with God.
Our everything is found in relationship with Christ. Our validation, our satisfaction, our deepest needs, and the longings of our hearts, all are bound up in the full gospel of Jesus Christ! Go deeper, run headlong into the ocean of His love, seek Him out like your life depends on it, and find rich inheritance for real, everyday life.
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