Monday, February 14, 2011

Worldly vs. Un-Worldly Love

4:11 p.m. Today's project was to spend a quiet Valentine's Day gardening with Steve. Heidi was home doing lesson plans, and I logged in addresses for her wedding invitations as people sent back reply messages on Facebook.

The peace was shattered a bit when I looked into the house and saw the dogs staring back out at me! Apparently I had left the slider open when I came out carrying seeds to plant. I let them out and went back to the garden. Minutes later, Heidi called out that they had left "presents" in the living room area, but I hadn't smelled a thing. The tangy aroma of the barbecued chicken I have simmering in the crockpot apparently overpowered any possible competition. Thank the Lord, the cleanup was minimal, the germicide was applied, and we went on with our day.

After lunch Steve went back to working in the yard and Heidi and I watched two shows I'd recorded about England's royal family weddings, romances and, sadly, scandals and tragedies. On this Valentine's Day, one always hopes to see people marry for true love at least, and remain faithful, especially since Queen Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England where divorce is forbidden. One scandal after another tells us that was a vain hope, and we can only pray that the next couple to marry, Prince William and his Kate, will do better and live reputably.

(The reason Heidi and I are so fascinated by the royals is that 30 years ago, Steve and I married just weeks ahead of Charles and Diana; and she'll get married to Pavel this year just after William and Kate. We will both hop up in the wee hours to watch that wedding!)

I know it can be possible for a marriage to be fulfilling and last for a lifetime without the Lord, but the odds are against it. With sleeping around and shacking up so prevalent, even if a couple does marry, it's not the way God intended. Focus on the Family has published statistics that prove that marriages that start out as shack-ups fail at nearly twice the rate of marriages where the couples delay gratification and begin to live together only after marriage!

Yet, there is forgiveness for sin that is confessed and repented of! I John 4:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I can testify to new life in Christ, leading to love for a lifetime with Steve. I was a divorced single mother when I became born again. My husband of almost thirty years and I met at a home Bible study. Fate, luck, kismet? None of those! Our meeting was a result of two people having made a commitment to Jesus Christ, and joining a fellowship to learn more in-depth in a small group atmosphere that couldn't be achieved at Calvary Chapel Riverside, which was large even in 1980. After we wed, we attended Harvest and raised our family there, always attending home Bible studies in addition to services and events at church.

Times have been good, great, and also deprived (like now) for Steve and me through our years. But divorce was never an option! We love the Lord too much to shame His Name. Even today, I was comforted by our mortgage company's rep concerning our payment being late,and how Steve and I plan to get back on track. I will follow his advice: "Just trust the Lord, Ma'am! He's the only one who can do it! It's all about Him. "

That was a pure gift of grace, from a total stranger!

No amount of pomp, fame or jewelry could ever replace the preciousness of my marriage to Steve, our children, or even the trials we have come through together. With Christ at the center, we have confidence in our future, tomorrow and forever!

Psalm 3:3-5 says, KJV:

Thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of mine head.

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

The Lord will sustain our lives, our home and our marriage with a love that is anything but worldly!

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