Monday, January 16, 2012

I Do!... or Do I?

So it has been 10 months now officially since Ray and I got married. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Ok, so not everything has been easy, in fact, there have been several arguments and obstacles but our vows I Do stand strong today and forever. Marriage nowadays has absolutely broken my heart. Not marriage itself, but rather the concept people have about marriage. It has lost its specialness, sense of committment, and zeal. I found myself in several recent conversations talking about the option of marriage. Many people tell me that now its not really that practical. It's much easier to live together and when things break up, they break up. I actually had a student the other day tell me about his best friend having a small affair on his wife with a young girl in her 20's. My student talked about it seeming to not be affected let alone prone to give his friend advice to cut it out and/or to tell his wife. In his eyes, marriage is too boring. Being with the same person for 20 years and the same routine gets old. But why does it have to be boring? Isn't there another way out? Or all we all destined to divorce or a loveless marriage for years to come? When God created marriage I believe he knew what he was doing. It wasn't as if he created it to simply fail when things got difficult. God is much more intelligent and loving that than. But, it does however take hard work that unfortunately not all are willing to put in. It says in Matthew 19:5 that marriage was God's idea: [and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’] That means, two lives coerge into one. How is that possible? I have my own ideas, my own way to live life, my own abitions. But what it takes I believe is sacrificial love for the other. Philippians 2:3-5 [Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.] It takes sacrificing our wants and putting them on hold in order to serve the other person, show them they are valued, and show them they are loved. A person who consciously knows they are loved, valued, and respected is apt to respond positively in the marriage. I read a great book that I recommend called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We all [according to him] receive love from others in different ways and our spouses most likely receive love differently than us. It's important to learn how we feel love and to apply that within our marriage. This is a must read!

I recognize that today moreso than ever, there is a need for believers to rise up, take faith, and fight for our marriages. Marriages don't just stay neutral during the journey of life. We go in directions, either closer to God or closer to the devil. Satan just wants to tear down what God established. He will use whatever means of unfaithfulness, selfishness, pride, miscommunication, and even routine to destroy this beautiful establishment. Marriage [even with my little experience] can be something so wonderful where we daily lay down our own wants to love and respect the other person [similiar to our relationship with Christ.] It's important to get out of routine--do something different. Show the other person especially today that you love them in a physical practical way.

May God give us grace through our errors, faith and strength during temptations, and love that abounds only from him that we pour all over our spouses.

Friday, January 13, 2012


So I've grown a new love for pistachios. For some reason, I couldn't put them down today and I ate the entire bowl. One of life's joys--discovering new foods we like. I rest in the fact of knowing that I can buy [Lord willing] pistaccios whenever I want. But what does that say about my lifestyle? To choose our food is a right, isn't it? Unfortunately the latter is true. While I am consumed in choosing my dail meal, people are choosing between food or diapers for their child. Extreme poverty breaks our heart ,yes, but what about those who get lost in the cracks of life? I met a boy in the city bus today. He had to be around 10 or 11 years old. He took a seat right next to me and I could feel the warmth of his shoulder touching mine. At a first moment's glance he appeared to be the son of the woman in front of me. However, minutes later I discovered that she was not his mom...nor did it appear that this child had a home maybe to live in. He was selling cheap comic books at the age of 10. His work had him so exhausted, however, that he fell quickly asleep in the seat. In fact, he could not even keep his eyes open for the ride. My mind began to wander....what made this precious child so tired at noon on a Friday? What challenges must he be facing at home or on the streets that confront him with the reality that he is in need of selling comic books on a city bus? My heart was strained for this boy. Why? Why him? Why does he have to struggle with so much as I live with so little of life's realities. But, what could I do? What should I have done? What possible solution can I give with the resources on me at the time? Is it possible to change a life? Is it possible to give others the same priveleges such as choosing our daily foods? I may not see it as much, or think it will change the world, but God does have something to say about this. It says in Matthew 10:42 [And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.] Why God? Why this little boy? Or are we asking the wrong question...we should be saying how can you use me God? Sometimes its easier to blame a foreign source than to take responsibility on our own shoulders and seek justice for the poor, the widows, and the captive. With that said, I propose we take action. What do we do with these questions? How do we offer hope in a world that only sees destructive realities? Ok, everyone send their leftovers to Africa where some child does not have food. No, that's not the idea. The action should come from our heart and our faith in God. Let us be creative! Why not invite the boy out to lunch and spend quality time with him as we both take part in the privelege of choosing our meal...I just might try that next time.