Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (HCSB)
Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration.“For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.(HCSB)
My husband and I are celebrating our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. As we had planned a wedding, we had planned our married life. I was in college when we married but was going to graduate, teach for three years, then be a stay-at-home mom to our three children. My husband had taken a leave from college and was working when we were married but was going back to college, become an accountant, and climb the corporate ladder. We were going to build our dream house in our hometown and live happily ever after. I did graduate, and my husband did become an accountant, but the corporate ladder turned out to be a step-stool because God had another call for my husband – to the ministry. We left our hometown, and my plans, that I thought were so grounded, suddenly flew away! My three years of teaching became twenty-seven. Because of health issues, we only had one child (but he has blessed us more than any three ever could). My time of staying at home came after our son had a home of his own. The hometown dream house has become a beach dream house but is still a dream. Our plans have had ups and downs, turns and twists, but we were right about the “happily ever after”! My grandmother used to say that God laughs when we make plans, and He must have had a hardy chuckle at the two of us! As I look back over the last thirty-nine years, I am so thankful that my plans flew away and were replaced with Your plans, Lord. Your ways are so much better than mine. Thank You for the change of plans!!
Matthew 19:6 – So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” (HCSB)
I was recently with a group of women of various wedding anniversaries. One just celebrated 15; I will soon celebrate 39. Over coffee and sodas, we started discussing our ages when we walked so boldly and confidently down the aisle. Our ages varied, but we all had one thing in common – each one was so naive while thinking she was so mature. Each bride and groom had looked at each other with starry eyes and said, “I do” without a single doubt of the bright and blissful future to come. Today we just laugh at those two foolish people! That man at whom we looked with such awe is not so awesome when we’re picking up his dirty socks. He sometimes says the wrong thing (or nothing at all). He sometimes misses our hints (even though our clues were so obvious). He sometimes has bad breath (and other body odors). There are times when that radiant bride of the wedding day isn’t such a ray of sunshine either! Ephesians 5:33 tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. When we get married we fully intend to unconditionally love, respect and admire each other. I know I had great intentions of being the perfect wife, offering nothing but kind and encouraging words, perfectly prepared dinners every night, and a life of candlelit romance. But, life sets in with all of its time devouring stresses. Sometimes my words are less than kind and not at all encouraging. There are times when my husband just needs to count his blessings that he got dinner at all, even if it is just leftovers! Often times the candlelight is just a sign that the electricity is out. Why do we put up with each other when the adventurous future becomes the routine present? The Bible is very clear that marriage is a divinely established covenant. When asked about marriage, You said “Haven’t you read the scriptures?” (Matthew 19:4) A covenant means that one person holds up their end of the promise even when the other person falls short. A marriage covenant is sealed with “as long as we both shall live”, not “as long as we like each other everyday.” A covenant tells us to walk away from the mix-up, not the marriage. The Bible teaches us that You, Lord, unite us together to become one flesh (Matthew 19:6). You came up with the idea of marriage (Genesis 2:18), and Proverbs 18:22 says that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. Lord, help me to see my marriage as a gift from You. Help me to be a “good thing” for my husband. To paraphrase Song of Solomon 2:16, my husband is mine and I am his, dirty socks, leftovers, and all!