My wife and I have been married for nearly six years, and we have been together for over eight. Our relationship throughout this time has evolved in a number of ways. Those ways have been both life-changing and subtle. Becoming something that we were not (as one, opposed to two separate people) has taken a lot of time, effort, patience and persistence.
Like many these days, our individual past lives were filled with many stupid decisions. We were young, not very focused on what the Lord had intended for us, and we both had a plethora of the consequences of our rebellion to bring to the table as we began our journey together. I could name all of the ways we had rebelled, but I will just sum it up by telling you that these ways were nothing more than the awful results of our sinful pleasures.
Oh, the pleasure of sin. How fun those things are, aren’t they? Getting drunk. Getting high. Having sex with people you hardly know. Breaking the law. Stealing. Gambling. Cutting corners. Lying. Cheating. Being two-faced. Whatever you personally prefer.
Is it fun when the hangover comes? is it fun when you run out of drugs or money for them, while continuously dodging the police? Is your constant need for them, fun? Do you enjoy your withdrawal? Is it fun when you get pregnant, or get someone pregnant, or catch a venereal disease, or have to pay child support? Is it fun when you have children who walk without a mom or dad through life, just because you wanted to have an orgasm with some random stranger? Is it fun when you break the law, just like you had a million times before, but finally get caught doing it? Is it fun in prison? Do you like losing all of your money that you’ve worked for, to a risky game of Blackjack? Is it fun when you lie, cheat and steal, and end up with absolutely nothing? Is it fun with no one after they see the other face that you tried to hide from them?
Seems like the fun that sin brings is only temporary, doesn’t it?
My wife and I brought many of these things with us; our individual baggage, as we joined each other’s mess. We weren’t afraid to tell each other about the stupid things we had done. We were open and honest. We even dealt with each other’s lingering bad habits after we had first met.
That was not easy!
We began a walk together, and this walk had to be redefined. It had to be about us, and no longer just about ourselves. Also, it had to be about the three little children that accompanied the woman I would soon marry. Overall, it had to be about what God desires for us.
We were dead in our transgressions when we were apart: from the Lord. We were not willing to give up those things that were holding us down; killing us, destroying our world of peace, joy and love. We we scarred from our personal battles with sin that had left us beaten.
My wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary soon. We have been through a ton of obstacles, have encountered so many complications from the consequences of past sins, and we continue to battle a few that linger. After all, we are sinners undergoing the mysterious process we know as grace. Throughout these eight years, one thing has held us together: love. Love has conquered all. Love is what we have grown in through all of the ups and downs, through all of the pains and struggles and through all of the ugliness. Through all of the sinful residual and prideful bluster.
Love is what kept us going.
Today, we celebrate Easter, and today, I am thankful for the love of God. He was put to death for my sins. For my wifes’ sins. For our childrens’ sins. For yours. He was resurrected, and is now alive. He lives in us; in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, in our decisions, in our present struggles, in our victories, in our sorrows and in our true selves. He is with us, granted, we allow Him be.
Today, I am thankful.
I’m thankful for everyday that I get to spend with my wife. I’m thankful for the love that Jesus has bestowed upon us, our children and our family. I’m grateful for another day of being under His watchful eye; saving me from myself.
This morning, I pray that you seek the love of God, through Christ. He is the mediator between man and Our Father. He is the love that we search for in this world of sin.