Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EZ Love and Respect

This morning included coffee with friends, a fun and intelligent pair of friends, two people expressing a partnership in marriage. Each person is working at being married, approaching life in partnership, not only with each other but with God.

As we sip our coffee, I hear them speak and see them listen.
I witness them nurturing strengths and admitting weaknesses, encouraging new ideas and risking imperfection. I see a marriage working. Love and respect. Transparency and honesty.

My first marriage ended in divorce. I am a woman twice married.

Morning Glory once asked how I knew the man beside me was the one for me, the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
I thought about it for a moment. I think about it now. My response was and is honest, risky. For me, it is not so much promising to spend the rest of our lives together, as it is loving this man so much that I cannot imagine my life without him.

In a culture where so many couples get caught up in children-first, spouse-second, it is hard to stay focused. As a mother, I know in my heart that I would die to save my children.

As a wife, am I ready and willing to die for my husband?

I, the Lord, am your God ... have no other gods besides me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness.
You shall not covet your neighbor's spouse.
You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

If I choose to define adultery as physical intimacy with someone not my spouse, I can simply check off item 6. Gold star there!
Not committing adultery often appears to be EZ. If I am honest, staying faithful requires so much more.

While spending time with my friends, do I find myself embellishing faults, whining about being misunderstood and unappreciated, sharing unflattering stories, betraying my husband with my words? Do I politely say no to my friends who are sharing inappropriately with me?

Do I parent with him or against him? If the children see us fight, are we transparent in our resolution? Do we present a united front to our children? Or, are children in our home allowed to manipulate us, playing one against the other?

Do I race to the mailbox, hoping to get the credit card bills or bank statements before he does, keeping my secret spending a secret? Are there emails I don't want him to read? Phone numbers on my cell I couldn't let him call? Is there anything I am hiding?

Focusing on the newer cars, nicer houses, and dinners out that others seem to enjoy, do I forget to appreciate our home, our car, our groceries?

When did I most recently pray for my husband? With him?

Do I even know if he prays?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

My husband is my closest of neighbors.

Our wedding day was a beginning, two people pledging themselves to each other. Today celebrates a life in partnership not only with each other but with God.

Love and respect. Transparency and honesty.

God said, "My presence will go with you.
I'll see the journey to the end."


EZ Love and Respect copyright 2011 rjw (there's a book in here somewhere)

No comments: