Lest you think we are the hunky dory couple with the Ephesians 5 marriage — everything going as it should –– think again. Each day requires new faith. There is no marking time. Faith for Tuesday doesn’t secure Wednesday’s challenges. I was up late last night and Marti fired off a message to me before she went to bed after a stressful day. Some of you might find courage for your own walk in these words as well.
“I suggest, my dear John, that we declare right now in front of our brothers and sisters, I suggest we declare that we are God’s gift to us –– that I am God’s gift to you, and you to me.
“Embrace the truth, passionately. We must put our arms around us. We eat and drink what we each put before us. So often, we have rejected each other, pointing out the flaws (me verbally, and you in your conversations within your head) instead of focusing on the hope that lies ahead.
“Improve our lot by conveying a deep appreciation for what God has given, and when improvement is the result, proclaim it as from the Lord. Everyone wants to be appreciated; everyone wants to have valued placed on them. Who wouldn’t want more from God?
“Bringing the kingdom of God to our marriage is our privilege. We can bless our marriage, embrace it, and bring to bear the power of God on the areas that require miracles. Once the kingdom is in place, it is bound to expand into our children, our neighbors, our community, and into our Catch Citizens worldwide. I do not think it is the reverse.
“The key is to move forward.
“In Ephesians 5, I am commanded to give value to you, ‘Women submit yourself unto your husbands, as are you.’ But more importantly, you are to give yourself to me, ‘Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.’”
“Here is what I think: I think we need to restructure from God’s perspective what we are to be doing, with me coming with as much expectation to you as I would to Christ, and you greeting me, prepared to die for me as Christ did for you.
“No more chatting. Either join this marriage, embrace it, improve on it, and when miracles arise, give praise to the Lord for His work through you… or don’t. It is your call, husband.”
I’m picking up my call, Marti. Before these witnesses: I accept.