Love and Marriage

“Marriage is what brings us here today…” This quote from the famous marriage scene from “The Princess Bride” is absolutely hilarious. If you haven’t seen this scene before, pull it up on YouTube.

Marriage is one of the constants in my life that is calming, refreshing, and soothes my soul. It’s because my wife understands me, like no one else. I can come to her with any given issue or celebration and she’s right there with me brainstorming ways to reduce the problem to ashes. She is also my number one cheerleader.

The first marriage is found in Genesis 2 with Adam and Eve coming together. The text reveals that God saw it was NOT GOOD for Adam to be alone. Adam had named all the animals and no one was a good match for him. Thank God that was observed. Who knows how life would look if woman had not been created.

God took a rib from Adam and created Eve. Not a bone from the foot or head. I think that is important to see. A companion walks side by side through life. She is not domineering nor walked upon. We both are created in God’s image. We compliment each other. I think of Sid from “Ice Age” when he says, “She completes me.”

We are called to be spiritually united as we walk together in life. If we call ourselves disciples, we must imitate Jesus in our marriage and our family life in the way we treat one another. We are called to be emotionally available to each other to help and support one another. We are called to be physically connected as well. Plan events to do together, share ministry together, turn off your phones and social media and just be together listening to dreams and hopes and fears.

Marriage is more than a piece of paper. It’s two people fully committed to each other and giving God the glory in all of life. May you feel the love of Christ in your marriage. May you desire to lift up your partner in marriage. May your love and life be a real blessing for your spouse and best friend. Blessings on the journey.

Growing Like Jesus

When I lived in Stillwater, OK, I was a youth pastor. During the summer, I was typically gone fifty percent of the time on trips to camps, mission work, or road trips with teens. But one summer, I decided to grow watermelon. I love watermelon, especially when it’s ice cold from the fridge.

I planted the seeds and in no time, small green sprouts came up. My vines were on their way to maturity. But then summer hit and I was gone half the time. I had failed to get anyone to water my vines or give any TLC. By the end of summer, I had zero watermelons and shriveled up vines. It was a sad day.

Paul says in Colossians 2 that we are to “let our roots grow down into him and let our lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth we were taught and we will overflow with thankfulness.”

If you’re following Jesus, you want to grow into maturity to look like him which means you have to create habits that allow you to be watered and receive the TLC needed to grow into the likeness of Christ. Make today the day you commit to reading the Bible every day. There are lots of ways to do that. The YouVersion app is one easy way. The app has all versions of the Bible ever printed and it has many study guides that vary in length.

Start today creating a prayerful life. Just start talking to God and revealing your heart. You don’t have to “know” how to pray. It’s just a conversation with God about life, direction, gaining wisdom and how to follow.

Determine today you are going to allow yourself to become someone who has a servant lifestyle. There are lots of ways to create a path with others to be service minded. Look into any number of ministries at the church you attend. What brings you joy? What makes you happy? Talk to your pastor about ways to plug in and get going. You could also check your city’s website under the “non-profit” tab. That would open up lots of opportunities to find ways to serve other people.

Make time to write down your faith story so you know it and can share it in a 3-5 minute opportunity. It’s important that you know how and why you came to follow Jesus. Getting to know your story is important because you need to tell your children and grandchildren how important that decision was for you and the life change it could bring for them.

If you are going to grow, then you have to create a well-worn pathway to Jesus and a community of believers. Growing like Jesus will be empowered by the Holy Spirit but it will not happen in a vacuum. You have to determine to create habits that will allow you to be watered and tended by the greatest gardener of all time: Jesus Christ.

Blessings on your journey!