Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Marriage Project

Last year, I shared how I made a major life change. I can't even describe what that was like. There were times when I wondered if I had done the right thing. Did I really hear from God?

Well, it's been about a year now that I've been going to Mountain Lake Church. Because I was always involved in children's ministry, I rarely ever sat in the sanctuary to hear a message. So it was a new experience for me to show up at church on time (instead of an hour early), sit in the sanctuary, and leave right after church.

I enjoyed MLC from the first time I went. What I really enjoyed was the preaching and from that first Sunday, God really spoke to me through every message. I looked forward to hearing the message every week.

Recently, they just finished a message series called "The Marriage Project". I have to admit that when I first learned of this series, I was kinda bummed.

"Really, God?? I have to sit through 4 weeks of how-to-have-a-better-marriage? Is this a cruel joke? You know this is the ONE thing I want more than anything!"

I have to tell you, though, that I have LOVED every message! Instead of being down and depressing, it has been very uplifting and encouraging.

It really opened my eyes to marriage. With 98% of my friends being married (yes, I did do a mathematical formula to figure that out!!) I feel like I have a basic knowledge of marriage. I know you married folks are probably rolling your ideas right now and thinking "Girl, you ain't got NO idea!" Hey...I did say I had a BASIC knowledge :)

Each week focused on one of these main points.

Building a good marriage requires a decision to...

1. believe in your spouse.
Believe the best in each other...even when you don't always see the best. God
saw the best in us...He saw our potential.
2. leave and cleave.
Your spouse is now your priority...not yo mama! We become "glued" to our
spouse. Nothing comes between us. Romans 8:38-39
3. love.
We demonstrate our love by being kind, compassionate, and forgiving. Christ
demonstrated the ultimate sacrifice of love by loving us when we didn't deserve
4. submit.
It's not a tug of war of "I'm-right-you're-wrong". Both need to submit. Submission of one partner does not benefit the marriage. We see the ultimate act of submission through Jesus.

Here's 2 main things I got from this message that I loved:

Marriage is a PROJECT not a PROBLEM.
This is so true...from what I've observed. Think of your house. How many of us start a project on our house and work on it here and there. Or maybe we get it the way we want it, then a few months later change it around.
I believe this is true in marriage. When you say "I Do", that's just the beginning. I believe you constantly have to work on it, find out what works and what doesn't.

Your marriage is a picture (or reflection) of your relationship with God.
It's a mirror image. I LOVE this picture. Our relationship with God is reflected in our marriage.

So...where's my mind in all this marriage talk?

I want a marriage more than anything else! Yes, I'm excited about the wedding part, mainly because I'm a girl and that's just the way we're wired, but I'm WAY more excited about the marriage part. I WANT the "project" to work on because I want to work on it WITH someone. I have loved being single and having freedom, but believe me...I am SO ready to have that companionship.

This series has really opened my eyes, though. If my relationship with God is a mirror image of my marriage, then I know I've got some work to do. If I spent the same amount of time with a spouse as I do with Jesus, my marriage would be suffering.

So more than anything, I have been fired up lately about my relationship with Jesus! Some days, it feels like I'm learning about Him for the very first time. I'm looking forward to the future, marriage or not, because I am falling in love all over again with Him.

By the way, the church started a blog during this series that's been very interesting to read. Some entries from some of the pastors as well as their wives. Neat stuff!


oh amanda said...

What a great post, Stace. I love what you said about if you spent as much time w/your spouse as you do Jesus, it would be a suffering marriage. That is good insight!

Kat said...

I love it when God shows me stuff like that! He is so good!
I'm glad that you are actually getting to "just go" to church, too!

Anonymous said...

I loved the series too! They were awesome! Your future hubby will be one lucky man!!

Jenn said...

I needed that... good stuff!!

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