by Glenda Lesher
That question was my husband’s first reaction to the first FamilyLife Weekend to Remember we attended.
As we sat through the speaking sessions, laughed at the common problems husbands and wives have, studied our workbook, and did our homework, our eyes had been opened to God’s wonderful and exact plan and purpose for our marriage. Having been followers of Jesus Christ from the day we married and before, we marveled at these “hidden” gems of wisdom from Scripture that we were so ignorant of. Amazingly, we weren’t even familiar with the marriage blueprints of Ephesians 5:22-33, even though we were members of an evangelical church.
Our marriage, like most remarriages, had some challenging issues: blending a family, financial adjustments, unrealistic expectations, disappointments, and even a crisis or two. Primarily, however, we were two entirely different personalities, each carrying wounds from the past. We had also married while we were new Christians without even the benefit of pre-marital counsel. If we had been more mature in the Lord, perhaps we would have known to wait and get the guidance of someone wiser than us.
Of course, there were many, many good times too, especially the birth of our child together….another boy to join his three half-brothers…a cute little blonde with dimples and a happy disposition. Just looking at him would make anyone smile.
Though we grew spiritually and relationally in the new church we decided to join, the FamilyLife event changed everything about how we viewed marriage – especially that our spouse is not our enemy (really?) and that we are to receive our spouse with thanksgiving as a gift from God. I have to admit that my husband didn’t always act like a gift from God, but neither did I. I guess we are slow learners, but it took us years to work everything out. The older we got, the sweeter our relationship became…and we now have grandchildren!
Looking back, I’m so thankful we stayed committed to God and each other. If we hadn’t decided in advance that divorce would not be an option, we would have missed out on so many blessings including the Weekend to Remember that changed our lives. We discovered that God gives abundant grace to those who love Him and who remain steadfast. He does not seek perfect people who have obeyed the letter of the Law, but for those who hunger and thirst for Him and His righteousness (Matthew 5:6; 6:33).
Taking it One-to One: