A Marvelous Wedding
Jim and Ann looked like any young enthusiastic couple. She looked as glorious as ever when she walked down the aisle that January evening. Her bridegroom waits at the altar in his most formal Navy Commander's mess dress. His attire was the most attractive in the chapel, except of course, hers. They were both in their finest for their finest hour. They met a few years earlier at a local church here in Houston. As they came to know each other, they both felt that God was going to do something special with them. Their love for each other grew on every meeting, date, conversation, and phone call until they reached the critical moment when they realized they could not live life without each other. Witnessing this, I started thinking about Valentine's Day a little early this year.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Jim and Ann are both in their early sixties! How could it be two people in their sixties could fall in love like two twenty-somethings? I could not have imagined the growing love that I personally witnessed. When most people in their early sixties are busy starting their retirement, Jim and Ann have been busy ministering to others, living their lives and falling in love. Their move towards each other occurred as they both moved toward God. So why pursue love in your sixties? Why not just be friends? Frankly because love and God, are worth pursuing. Seeing their witness of growing love encourages me as I pursue my wife, kids and God.
An Amazing Pursuit
1st John 4:8 says, "Whoever does not love does not know God, God is love.” Pursuing God is their number one objective and their growing love for each other is a benefit.
There is no guarantee that increasing your love for God will bring a single person a mate. Growing a deeper love for God helps us better sense His amazing love for us. God pursues his children with a love that John explains in 1 John 4:10 "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Guys, do you remember what it was like to fall in love with a girl who did not fall in love with you? Yuck… lot's of hurt there. Do you see how we, as God's children, must hurt His heart? He chases and pursues us, his creation, just to feel the rejection of his own kids. It must be even worse for the heart of God when we who profess that we are Christian but live a life of rebellion toward Him. But, because he is patient, the love story of God ends well.
Rom 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God gave us his greatest gift while we were still in rebellion! I normally require a repentant heart from my son before I express forgiveness. But, that is not God's way. He wanted so badly to bring us back into his presence that he forgave us before we repented! The pathway home, back to God, has been paved by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, his only Son. (John 3:16) It is up to us now to accept the forgiveness God has already offered us.
So, what is the example of God's sacrificial love supposed to teach us about Valentine's Day? Well, I ask myself these questions: Do I love my wife sacrificially? Do I anticipate her needs before they occur? Do I attempt to solve problems for my wife? Do I demand a better computer than she has? (ouch!) Do I try to fulfill her desires before my own? Am I generous with my time to complete her agenda before I complete my own? Do I play with my kids on the weekend ahead of my desires to get a little more education? Really now, isn't 60 hours of work in one week enough? Isn't there time for the kids too? For those on the rigs, it is just a fact of this industry that you are gone for long periods. But what are you doing while you are at home? Are you pursuing your wife and kids?
If you think these are hard words to read, I can promise you that these are hard words to write. To sense the joy of filling our responsibilities at home demands that we first fill our cup with God. Pursuing the love of God through fellowship with Him in prayer, fellowship with his people in worship and relationship and study of His Word makes us fully capable of loving our family in a sacrificial way. Want your woman to feel more love? Start with chasing God for His love.
An Example To Follow
The marriage of President Lincoln is our exhibit to study. Some have said that Lincoln would have been an incredible man if it were not for his difficult marriage with the First Lady. Mary Todd Lincoln was bipolar and schizophrenic. President Lincoln stayed married to Mary until his last day at Ford's theater. Was Lincoln's marriage a distraction or did his difficult marriage provide him the testing required for a leader of nation in the midst of a civil war? Gary Thomas in the book called Sacred Marriage argues that it was Lincoln's devotion to his bride especially in her mental illness that prepared him to lead a very contentious nation. Lincoln saw his role in marriage as a sacrificial one. He never ran from it and he never diminished his leadership in our nation at our most difficult time. Somewhere along the way, we got the idea that marriage is for our happiness. God uses the covenant relationship of marriage to perfect in us His character. All other relationships are based on the mutual benefit of both parties. God does something very special in marriage that requires a commitment "till death do us part” When we call it "Holy Matrimony”, it means that we set this relationship apart from all other relationships and we have no other like it. The perfecting of President Lincoln's character took place in his holy (set apart) relationship with Mary Todd. The hard work of perfecting character will not occur as long as leaving is an option.
Ok men and women, are you ready for Valentine's Day? Great here we go, get ready, get set, Chase God's love…
If you are ready to chase God's love, Oilfield Christian Fellowship can help. Talk with us. God has graciously given us the resources for the "Oilfield Church”, some to teach, some to provide Bible materials, some to counsel and some to just love and encourage you into the fellowship of Christ. Whether you are in the oil patch, tool sales or somewhere in between, would you please offer us the opportunity to confidentially hear your needs, pray with you and fellowship with you at the cross of Jesus? We would be privileged to serve you in Christ's love. If you would like to make a comment or talk with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . It would be a privilege to hear from you. You can also find me on Facebook. You can reach John Bird, OCF founder, or Mike Chaffin, our Bible Supply Chairman, from the contact button of the OCF webpage, http://www.oilfieldchristianfellowship.com/.