We are all sinners — yes, Christians are redeemed sinners, I know, but — we all are sinners and we all marry sinners. They is nothing else to marry! (and let's not forget what they're stuck with!)
I remember that after we became engaged, we met with the minister that I grew up with for premarital counseling. When he said that we would have to "work" at our marriage, I thought the minister must not have known what he was talking about. We wouldn't have to work at it! We were in love! After all, Terry and I knew we loved each other; we would be fine! Wasn't that all it took?
Boy, was I wrong. ☹ Many of you already know our story, but if you don't you can hear it in my last blog, here. A good marriage does take work.
We need the love and grace of Christ poured on us to show us how to love our spouse. We need the help of the Holy Spirit showing us what to do, and convicting us when we are plain and simple — wrong. We need the fellowship of the Holy Spirit guiding us to make love decisions so that by an act of our will we can say yes to God in order to make our spouses life as easy and as pleasant as we can.
Sometimes God uses other people to inspire us — in big ways and in small ways. I had a small way night before last.
Terry and I have a program that we enjoy watching together. He likes to let me know that it is coming on two hours or so before it airs, so I can anticipate and remember to watch it together and to be ready. Well the other night, I was ready.
Terry had made a fire (which I absolutely LOVE in the winter time) and we usually turn two chairs around that don't face the television so we can face the television. (they are sort of conversational chairs for when we talk in the den) We were going to watch side by side in front of the fire.
He turned his chair around as he watched the closing round of a golf match. I was on the sofa reading some articles on marriage of all topics on couples that had been married more than thirty-five years. I had a blanket over me, and my feet were propped up on a footstool. In a word, I was mighty cozy.
Terry said, "Come on, the program's going to be on in just a minute. You need to stop reading and join me!" So far — so good, right?
All sounds good except for one teeny-weeny thing.
As I sat reading my article on the good marriages, (kinda ironic, huh?) I had a about 5 or 6 more couples to read about and I wasn't finished. I didn't want to move. Besides, I was cozy where I was. And if I haven't told you lately, I am quite lazy. I am not proud of it, but I'm just putting it out there. I didn't really want to move. It just seemed like a lot of trouble when I was good where I was, and I really didn't want to stop reading either. No, I would just watch from there, and I said so, too.
I think I was about to throw in that I could read and watch at the same time, or something like that when the Holy Spirit brought someone to my mind that I had just read about earlier.
Joni Eareckson Tada.
If you don't know her, you need to know her.
When Joni was seventeen, she misjudged the depth of the water and dove into shallow water. She became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. That was almost fifty years ago.
Joni is married to a wonderful man named Ken Tada.
Suddenly as I relaxed on the sofa thinking of my own comfort and desires, my thoughts were interrupted. In my mind's eye, I saw Joni laying paralyzed in her bed in the middle of the night. I want you to picture her too, so here is what I had just read forty-five minutes earlier:
"My hands don’t work. My feet don’t walk. So, in the middle of the night, after Ken has turned me and put pillows behind my back and I’m all tucked in nicely with the blankets up, sometimes at 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock in the morning I get uncomfortable. I have to make a choice. Am I going to wake my husband up to turn me or am I going to make it to morning?
Walk by Faith,