What a blessing it was today to be able to attend the Focus on Marriage Simulcast today at our church. We were blessed to be a part of it, and I pray that all those involved were touched as we were.

I want to share a few things that I took away from the conference. First of all, Jeremy Camp shared some great worship songs, and it was great to start the day imagining how we were worshipping with 500 other simulcast locations across the nation and Canada, along with the host site at the FOF location. Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage, was probably my favorite for the day. He had numerous points which helped me see marriage in yet a different light. He spent some time on looking at the theme that marriage provides a context in which to improve ourselves...each and every day. What lesson is God teaching you day in and day out as you seek to become a God-centered spouse? We are called to love at all times. Maybe something your spouse does causes you irritation. Is God calling you to be patient? Maybe you have a temper that is easily triggered - Is God calling you to purify yourself and become slow to anger? No other situation on earth provides us the opportunities to improve ourselves, yet there is no way, not with the best of intentions, or the best heart, can we do it OURSELVES. To draw closer to your spouse, you must draw closer to God. One cannot be done without the other. Because, to draw closer to God will convict you to love your mate unconditionally, despite his/her faults. It is not so much that you have the "how to" but that you have the "heart to".

He used Matthew 6:33 as a key verse, stating, in the marriage covenant, if you seek righteousness and the kingdom of God, happiness will come. Will this happiness be in the form of a great marriage, or a spouse who suddenly is attentive to your every need, or improved intimacy? Not necessarily. But happiness will come in the form of our soul being right with God and us leaning on him for our needs to be met.

Gary also posed an interesting thought. He had sat down with a newly engaged woman and asked her about her future husband. She gushed for 15 minutes saying, "He is this, he is this, and he does this, and he is that, and he...." and on and on. Later, he asked the same question of a woman that had been married for 6 years or so. Her reply was, "He isn't kind, he doesn't do this, he doesn't do that..." Gary asked, "When does a man start being known by what he isn't, rather than by what he is? Marriage?" May I, God willing, be a woman who says, "My spouse is," rather than, "My spouse isn't."

I look at my marriage and see a daily challenge to become more than I am today, with God's help. I see daily choices available to me to choose love. I see God crafting my soul when I need to take the view that my spouse will stumble, and I married him knowing that full well. But God created his son(my husband) to be loved, and my love for him is a form of worship and praise to the Lord for creating the man I married. I see God at work in me, purifying and sanctifying me with every decision I make. The challenge is to make the right choice in my decisions. Choose your spouse. Each and every day, hour, and minute. By choosing your spouse, you choose God. Don't turn your back on the second best gift you have been given, second only to Jesus Christ.

Yes, that was only speaker number one.

Enough to ponder for one night...
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3 Responses
  1. Tiffany Says:

    Wow, that sounds like a great conference! Marriage is definitely a place to work out our own imperfections...

  2. Angie Says:

    You are so eloquent with your words today. You certainly took a lot from your day. How wonderful it must have felt to be there today. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Your thoughts about the day are helpful and encouraging. Thank you again, angie

  3. Joyce Says:

    Hi, Sarah,
    That sounds like a valuable conference. Thanks for sharing with your readers!