Monday, August 8, 2011

Happily Holy Ever After~

Several months ago, my husband and I attended a memorial service for darling elderly couple. The wife's health had started to fail first. Hip surgeries and then dementia left her feeble and in a nursing home. Faithfully, her husband was at her side. Then, stricken with an aggressive form of cancer, he was gone.

Not a day went by that she didn't ask for him by name, crying out until she was hoarse and could speak no more. Then, still longing for the man who had stolen her heart, she would grab the arm of a son or daughter sitting near her and spell out his name in the palm of their hand. His name was cradled by her final breath. Five weeks to the day of her husband's death, she passed away. His death came as an unexpected surprise. Hers did not. They had been Mr. and Mrs. for 64 years.

Marriage - a union between a man and a wife. Two becoming one flesh, sharing the same name, the same bed, the same life.





Yesterday, August 7, my husband and I celebrated eleven years of marital bliss. A far cry from 64, but a good start none the less. On that memorable day when I said "I DO", I have to admit, the vision I had in mind was happily ever after {emphasis on happily}. Now, eleven years later, I am starting to see God's vision is so far beyond this.

Within the marriage experience,{adventure, journey, roller coaster ride, whatever words you might choose to use!} God desires to make us more holy. Amazingly, one of the tools he uses is...

wait for it

...submission.

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

True biblical submission is not meant to be scary, demeaning, or degrading. God, himself, established this principle and designed it to be something for wives to embrace. After all, submission is not meant to place us "below" or "beneath" our husband. Beautifully, submission places us under; under the care, protection and leadership of our man. The husband is the one called by God to bear the responsibility of the family. We, as wives, get to “rest” in his authority.

But, as wonderful as resting in our man sounds, we know all to well that submitting does not come easily or naturally. Submission is a choice of the will. We have to intentionally choose to do it. I think God wired us that way on purpose.

It is in submitting that we discover the inner strength of the Holy Spirit enabling us and empowering us to submit and do as He commands.

It is in submitting that we develop trust both in our husband and in our God.

It is in submitting that we are able to show our husband respect and draw him into a deeper love relationship with us.

It is in submitting that our true beauty as a woman is showcased and revealed.

This is how the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful. They put their hope in God. And they followed the lead of their own husbands. 1 Peter 3:5, NIRV

As the memorial service drew to a close, the family showed a video of this special couple. It had been made four years earlier in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary. As I watched their journey through life together, I felt a longing in my heart. A longing to have what they had. A true, abiding love.

It was obvious from the photos and from cherished moments in the company of this sweet couple that this wife had accepted and embraced the authority of her husband.
One look at him, looking at her, told you this groom only saw beautiful when he looked upon his bride.

In her husband and his leadership and guidance, this dear, spiritually wise lady had found security, love and a restful abiding. In his wife and her submissive, respectful, Christ-like demeanor, this strong, independent, "self-made" man had...

wait for it

...found the Lord.

Wives, likewise, submit to your own husbands. Do this so that even if some of them refuse to believe the word, they may be won without a word by their wives’ way of life. After all, they will have observed the reverent and holy manner of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1-2, CEB

Holy? When I got married I never saw that coming. But, I should have. True marriage isn't about my husband making me happy. It isn't about me making my husband happy. It is about the two of us making God happy.

What could bring more happiness than that?



Today, I am linking up with Jen at:

and

13 comments:

  1. It is a challenge to win someone to the Lord without a word just by my way of life -- what a testimony to submission to the Holy Spirit. When I think of submission, I think of the verse in Ephesians 4 that begins the whole passage on relationships: each one of you submit to one another. I think when we practice (by his strength because it's not a natural human response!) that it does make God happy :)

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  2. Oh, wow. First time visiting, and your post really spoke to my spirit. Happy anniversary! My husband and I are celebrating 12 years of wedded bliss next weekend, and your entry couldn't have been more relevant or poignant. Thank you!

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  3. What a lovely example of enduring love. Great post. I especially agree with the idea of both us making God happy. When our relationship with our Savior is healthy, our marriage relationship will also be healthy.

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  4. Congrats on your anniversary. Thanks for sharing good words on submission and holiness.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  5. Today, as I had a rare date with my husband, I was sharing with him some of my heart's struggles. And as I sat there, I opened my heart to his words and was so ministered by him. It made me appreciate so much his leadership and love for me.

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  6. Happy Anniversary, my friend! And congratulations on a great start to a long life together! We are months away from our 20th and I am still learning submission :) Marriage is as you said, not about us making each other happy (although occasionally that does help lol) but ultimately about pleasing our Savior, joining together to showcase His love for us through our submission to Him and our own love to each other and those around us. Blessings today to you and your hubby! :)

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  7. Yes, it's about me making my husband happy. Thank you for that reminder. I pray we too grow old and die loving each other as this couple did.

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  8. Happy Anniversary! We're a bit down the road from you...but I'd certainly agree marriage is a roller coaster. But you're right, it's about so much more than us. Thanks for visiting me today and for your sweet words!

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  9. Hi Stacy - this is a beautiful post. I long to be the wife God created me to be for my husband. Its an adventure, i can say that much. I believe that if we as wives trust the Lord with our husbands, He does the work necessary in them.
    Thanks for commenting on my post, I'll be following your blog and looking forward to your next posts.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  10. Thank you for sharing this. And happy anniversary!

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  11. Congratulations on eleven years of marriage! I've been married 27 years and I'm still learning. Such a wonderful story about the couple that spent 60 plus years together.

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  12. Stacy that was a beautiful post! That story of the couple was so sweet! My mother-in-law and father-in-law have been married for 63 years and I often wonder what they will do when something happens to one of them. Marriage is an amazing gift that God gives us!
    Thank you for joining my linky party.
    Blessings,
    Cyndi

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  13. Beautiful post! God blessed me with my husband at age 40 and the births of my daughters when I was 42 and 44. In July, I celebrated my 11th anniversary. A godly marriage is a blessing and a growth process.

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Thank you for leaving a "heartprint" of your own.