Monday, June 22, 2009

Faithfully United

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. ~~Ephesians 5:31-33 NIV

Twenty-one years ago today, Eldon and I eloped. We skipped all the hoopla and got married. We were in our young 20’s and only knew each other for a few months. We knew all the advice we’d receive would be contrary to what we wanted to do, so we just skipped it. I know some people who were skeptical about our relationship and how long it would last. And yes, I agree with statistics, most rushed marriages fall apart just as quickly as they jumped into them. (And I don’t recommend other couples do what we did.)

However, we defied statistics. Many years ago, my husband and I sought out Christian marriage counseling. We took this test to determine our compatibility. When we met with the pastoral counselor to receive the results, he told us that 85 percent of couples with our scores end up divorced. I remember looking this man in the eyes and stating, “Well we fall into the other fifteen percent.” We finished that session but never returned.

We’re not any different than other couples. We have our fussy moments with each other. We have disagreements. We have fun times too. What makes our marriage different? I believe it is commitment; being faithful to one another. We’ve been faithful to our vows before God and to each other.

Faithfulness is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. We see throughout Scriptures how God is consistently faithful to His Word and promises. In Chris Tiegreen’s devotion, Walk with God, he wrote, “God, however, is constant. His faithfulness reaches to the skies (see Psalm 36:5; 57:10; 108:4), and His love and faithfulness are semantically paired so often that they are clearly intertwined. His love is unchanging; there is nothing fickle about it—not even from generation to generation (Psalm 100:5). True faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2). It can do no other.”

Therefore, we must have Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to have the fruit of the Spirit. Then we can exercise faithfulness. In our marriage, there have been times our flesh wanted to take over, but the yielding to the Holy Spirit is better. Each of us has remained faithful to God and to each other. That is why I believe our marriage has lasted twenty-one years. And that’s why I believe we will enjoy each other until death do we part (which I hope is many, many more years). We’re faithfully united to each other and to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Engrafted by His Grace--

7 gracious comments:

Cherdecor said...

Congratulations Shonda and Eldon! Twenty-one years is a long time!!!!
I am so glad that you are committed to obeying the Lord and committed to each other.

We just celebrated our fortieth and like you, we have been committed to the Lord in obeying Him in our lives. We love each other more today than we did when we got married. We were still both pretty selfish then but the Lord has walked us through every problem and has given us a whole lot of love for each other.

It is amazing when we obey how the Lord heaps on us a blessing of love and more love. After all, GOD IS LOVE!!!

Just so you know that I am not too fanatical, I only iron the sheets in the guest room. But keep on praying for me because I can always use prayer. I am doing really well. I praise the Lord because I nearly died while I was in the hospital. Many people die from ruptured appendix. I thank the Lord for his healing.

Thanks for stopping by.

Karen said...

Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on 21 years together. You hit the nail right on the head as they say. Commitment. Great post!

Hope you've enjoyed your anniversary day!

Leah said...

Happy Anniversary and Congratulations!! You are a testimony to the grace and faithfulness of God, as well as just plain perseverence. Marriage AIN'T easy and anyone who says it is doesn't know what they are talking about. I pray that you have at least 21 more years and hopefully more together.


Kathy S. said...

Happy Anniversary Shonda!
Blessings for many more!

Alene said...

Beautiful story. Beautiful ring picture. Beautiful post. Happy anniversary girl! I miss you. Time to talk. How'd the Bible study go? Can't wait to see you in Sept!!!

Karen said...

Just hoppin' over to say hey. Hope you've had a great week! Let's talk soon!

Take care,

Warren Baldwin said...

Tremendous testament to the power of faith and faithfulness. This endurance is about the honor of your marriage and all marriages. Good post.