Tag Archives: Relationships

Rebuilt and Replanted

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Earlier this summer, my husband and I celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary.   We were newlyweds in the early 1970’s,  an era enriched with the beautiful music preformed by Karen Carpenter and her brother Richard.   They told our story in We’ve Only Just Begun*:  “…White lace and promises.  A kiss for luck and we’re on our way.”  They expressed our dreams in For All We Know**:  “…We’ve got a lifetime to share.  So much to say…Let’s take a lifetime to say I knew you well…And love may grow for all we know.”

Our promises and dreams were godly, and we sought God’s blessing and invoked His help.  It is good we did.  For life happened.  Demands and stresses within and without took a toll on our marriage, which nearly failed.  (You can read our story by going to the book page of this website.)    We’ve had a lifetime to know each other well and see our love mature and grow because of the God we trusted.

“Then the Nations around you that remain will know that I , the Lord, have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate.  I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.”   Ezekiel 36:36

In this, our 45th year of life together, Howard and I honor the God who rebuilt and replanted our marriage, the God  who spoke and did what He said He could do!

* written by Nicolas,Roger S./Williams, Paul H.

**  written by Bunch, John/Colbert, Joshua/Cordoba,Derick/Neptune, Cha

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Love Is A Gift

Our step grandson faced a dilemma around whether to stay in the United States and work towards his citizenship or return to Brazil where his fiance lives.  He grappled with his possible choices and how those decisions could impact the future.  His inner turmoil gave way to peace when he concluded, ” I can build my future, but I can’t build my love.”    He realized that the love he shares with his kindred spirit, his best friend,  is a gift – a breathing, living reality that needs to be nurtured and cared for.   He realized that he could build a career in either country.   This wisdom guided him back to  Brazil to enter into a covenant relationship with the beautiful young woman and to build their future there.

Love is a gift, and love is a choice.  It can be neglected, or it can be cared for.  It can grow, or it can die.  It needs the protection of promises made and kept.   Faith in God is rich soil in which the roots of love are supported and strengthened.  Prayer and Scripture are sunshine and water.   When cared for and protected, this gift grows more beautiful, more glorious as the years pass by.  This gift becomes a tree whose fruit and shade bless a future generation and the community where it is planted.

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Christmas LOVE

The Old Testament book of Hosea is a favorite of mine.   It is the story of Hosea’s love for his unfaithful wife Gomer.  It is a metaphor for God’s love for Israel and the world he promised to bless through Abraham.  In his introduction to the Book of Hosea in the Prayer Devotional Bible, Ben Patterson writes:  “New Testament scholar Anders Nygren described God’s love as “subject-centered” as opposed to “object-centered.”  Object-centered love flows because the object of love, the beloved, is so irresistibly wonderful.  This kind of love is more a reflex than a choice.  This kind of love leads one to “fall” in love.  On the other hand, subject-centered love originates in the lover, not because the beloved is so lovable , but because the lover is.  This kind of love is definitely a choice.  But it does not mean that it is any less passionate.”

God chose to love the world that breaks his heart.  He proved that love by sending his son, Jesus, to earth to show us his heart and to die for our sins.   He has shown us how to love our husbands, our wives, our children, our neighbors – not as a reflex but as a choice, as a sacrifice.  Let us love others as he has loved us this Christmas and all year long, as our gift of profound gratitude to him.

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Gratitude and Relationships

In The Good and Beautiful Life, author James Bryan Smith writes:  ” Joy. Gratitude. Thanksgiving.  Grace.  These are kingdom words. When we live with God in his kingdom, we begin to love our life. ”   He continues to make his point by quoting Rob Bell:  “Gratitude is so central to the life God made us for.  Until we can center ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, on the life we do get to live, we will constantly be looking for another life.”   Dr.  Smith ends his argument and paragraph by saying, “Lust is really about spiritual hunger for God and his kingdom.  Therefore our sexual problems are resolved when we enroll as Jesus’ apprentices in his glorious kingdom.”

I wonder how enriched my marriage would be, if I determined to be grateful for the strengths my husband has, rather than long for the strengths I think he lacks.   I wonder how all my relationships would be, if I was grateful for who the people in my life are, rather than expecting them to meet my needs.  I think about how happy I would be, if I trusted God to be the one who meets all my needs.   This Thanksgiving season I am determined to quit lusting after another life and praise God for all aspects of this life he has given me.

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