A Newlywed’s Wisdom

993379_10202116248091915_510470575_nIf you would like to quickly stir up controversy, talk to an intergenerational group of people about the recent trend towards marrying at younger ages.
My best friend, Kayla Hoffman, is one of those ‘rebels’ who wed at the ‘ripe age of 20.’
In my opinion, she daily makes a compelling case for why age is often just a number,
when you have two people whose hearts and lives are surrendered to the Lord.
Kayla constantly amazes me with the wisdom she shares and I couldn’t help but pass along the conversation we had over text today:

“I see all of these articles online like “5 Steps to a Stronger Marriage” & “10 Ways To Make Your Relationship Last” that thousands of people have read and shared, including many Christians.

Being honest, going on dates, welcoming him/her home with a hug & kiss,
& giving him thoughtful gifts are all wonderful things and should probably be done in a relationship/marriage.
But why does someone have to tell you to do that before you realize you should?
According to our authority (God/Scripture),
we are to love our spouses like Christ loved us & the church. Which means ultimate sacrifice,
not just when things are pleasant & comfortable,
but also loving them through the pain & suffering.
In fact, it demands a willingness to go through pain & suffering FOR them.
Don’t you think if we viewed our relationships like the Bible tells us to,
there would be substantially less petty arguments/disagreements
& we certainly wouldn’t need an online list to help us have a lasting relationship?

So here’s all you need to know to have a healthy relationship:
Jesus.
Run to Him, turn to Him, lean on Him.
If you’re loving your spouse as Jesus has called you to,
you won’t need to be reminded to spend time with them or to do something that makes them feel special.
True love should flow out of you because it lives inside of you.
And only in Him will we find the strength & grace to love another as we should.”

See what I mean? She’s no rookie.

Her words resonated with me as I recalled similar articles I’ve recently read, including:
“10 Girls Christian Guys Shouldn’t Marry”
(which I obviously read to assure I wasn’t one such girl)
or “5 Qualities You Need In A Husband.”
In reality, the one commonality we all absolutely share is
We are sinners desperately in need of a Savior.

So I suppose we could carry on attempting to become marriage material, righting our relationships,
telling our significant other we love them 4.75 times a day,
and carving out an hour a day to really listen to one another.
Or we could admit that every “how to” guide in the world would fall short.
But the end of our strength is the beginning of God’s and in that surrender surfaces hope.
So may we stare at Jesus, be filled by Jesus, know our worth in Jesus,
and let love flow from Jesus.

We love because He first loved us.
(1 John 4:19)

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