Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Decade of Friendship: A Letter to My Husband

Ten years ago, little did we know what God had ordained. In Glorieta, New Mexico our paths crossed. You were at the wrong place at the wrong time... or maybe the right place at the right time. You skipped your activity to play basketball (where I was). A few weeks ago, I sat down one morning and wrote how the Lord has been faithful to us. It's something I think we should do on a regular basis and definitely with our children. 

Year 1, Glorieta, New Mexico

Our marriage has not always been fun or easy, but I can say it's been worth it. And will continue to be. Our precious gifts from the Lord have me in awe this morning of how God provides for us, loves us and disciplines us. He disciplined us in our sin 3.5 years ago -praise Him for that! Little did we know the bright future He held. 

The Lord is faithful when we are not. 
His plan is perfect when ours is not. 
He will never leave us or forsake us. 

Year 2, Clinton, LA

We have grown together (almost grown up together) through trails and many long talks (whether it be money, family, child rearing, getting a splinter out of a toddler's toe that seems absolutely impossible, or one day moving and having a small homestead). I wouldn't want to walk through life with anyone else. You have seen me at my darkest and still choose to love me. What a picture of grace. I am your helpmate. I will be here. 

Year 3, Orange Beach, AL

As I look back on these 10 years, I see where everything has come together for our good. Sanctification is a lifelong process of becoming more like Christ. I earnestly (more like begging) pray our marriage mirrors that love Christ has for his church. And you know what, in the past 3 years, we have failed to demonstrate that love. Right now, I feel like we are far from holiness, but we're exactly where He wants us. He wants to grow us in our times of need. As C.S. Lewis says, 

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Isn't this so true? We are content playing in the mud when there's a beautiful sea waiting. We both know there's great joy in marriage. May the Lord grow us together. As Christ shapes us in His image, I pray our hearts would be humbled. I pray our response is, "What is the Lord teaching me?" instead of, "Why, God?". 

Year 4, New Orleans, LA

Over the past week, through listening to our heart, I know why God joined us together. You are perfect for me. In my struggle to control you (which I didn't realize until you completely shut down and the Lord opened my eyes to my sin), I have learned to let you be the man God has created you to be. I have seen where my sin of nagging has pushed you from the gospel... because I was not living the gospel. I was hoarding bitterness and was prideful. Christ loves us not depending on anything we do, but what He HAS done. I lost sight of that. I lost my first love. Please forgive me. 

Year 5, Grand Cayman 
(Whew. The devil was ready to steal, kill and destroy on that mission trip.)

I also discounted the power of prayer. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. {James 5:16} Since we have been praying together, the Holy Spirit has been moving in our house. Spiritual depression had a hold on us, but through prayer {Psalm 42}, the devil was rebuked. Praying with you allows us to both be vulnerable. To be vulnerable to the Lord and to each other. God's kindness leads us to repentance. We need each other to carry out good works. Let our love for each other be the best gift we give our children. May the Lord be glorified! 

Year 6, MissionFuge in Tennessee

Another thing, I thank you for never judging me, but loving me. When I'm (extremely) honest with you, I know I'm still accepted. That's living the gospel in front of my eyes. Nothing can pluck us from His hand. Last week when you reaffirmed our love for me, "There's nothing you can do that would ever make me leave you." showed that we're in this fight together - a fight for our marriage. Not that I would (hopefully) do anything, but it reminds me of Paul when talking to the Romans in chapter 5 verse 20, "Where sin increased, grace increased all the more." I pray we will be able to live that verse out with each other and our children. Not saying to go on sinning, but be quick to forgive. Offer grace... just as it has freely be given to us. 

Year 7, Marriage, Clinton, LA

Just a few verses I wanted to share, 

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Year 8, Madison, MS

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

Year 9, Betsy and Graham's wedding
Year 10 (5 months ago)
What God has joined together, let no man separate. {Mark 10:9}

There is so much more I would love to write about how Christ has redeemed us, but your mini me is waking from his sweet slumber. May the Lord look at us in glory and be well pleased. I love you.

(print credit at the top: Rachel Cox

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