Sunday, October 4, 2015

This is Good Advice

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
Psalm 26:3

I love weddings. Weddings are parties where people cry happy tears. I love parties and I love happy tears, so therefore, weddings are awesome. There is also good food. And dancing. And cake. If I were to conjure a patronus I would picture a wedding. (That was a super cool Harry Potter reference.)

My love for weddings is a good thing because "go to weddings" is in my husband's job description as a minister. I am guaranteed to celebrate a wedding three to four times a year. I do not mind.

But two weddings in the past month were of special significance. See, in my family I am the lone girl. My parents have four kids and only little ole me carries the XX chromosomes. These three brothers of mine are incredible blessings in my life. 

And two of them were married within weeks of each other this fall. My oldest son was in both weddings serving as ring bearer in one and AS BEST MAN in the other. My husband officiated both weddings. In one wedding my 2 year old loudly announced, "I'm goin' to the potty!" In the other, which was held in a beautiful field, he ran across said field to the bridesmaids as they began their walk down the aisle. I chased him at top speed wearing boots and a skirt and almost fell in front of a hundred people. 

I don't even get embarrassed anymore.

Where was I?

Oh, I love weddings.

During both ceremonies not only vows of commitment and sacred promises were shared, but the reasons why affections bloomed in the first place were stated. 

I love that you pray with me.

You love Jesus.

Your bible is worn.

You love the Lord.

Friend, do you want to know the greatest, most powerful piece of advice I can give you for a happy life?

Find a spouse who has found Jesus.

I know as young people we may make lists of attributes we'd like in a future spouse: educated, good cook, common interests, attractive, great job.

These things are certainly lovely to dream about. But that tip-top item should be Jesus. 

They should love Him more than they love you.

A man or woman who is devoted to Jesus lives their life in goodness and mercy, just like David said in the Psalm. Not because they are good and merciful, but because their Master is. David said, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me." 

Not, "I will be good and merciful." 

But, "The Lord will be."

Eleven years into marriage and I can promise you some things: it's fun, it's comforting, it's the greatest blessing of my life, but it's hard. Choosing to love and, more importantly, like your spouse through the babies, bad moods, will-you-stop-snoring, will-you-take-out-the-trash, why-are-your-socks-on-the-dining-room-table moments is hard.

And, oh my, how my flesh fails at being good and merciful to my husband. But the Lord is present and where He goes mercy and goodness show up as well. Jesus not only makes a marriage work, but He makes it thrive.

Dear one, no one will love you more than your Savior. And no spouse can love you better than the one who loves Jesus most.

So make your lists. Dream about who you will meet at the altar, but make sure Jesus is there, too. 

Where He goes so go goodness and mercy.

And goodness knows we need a life full of that.

Jesus, create in us a heart that is filled with love for the one who loves You.

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