Here is a song I'd like to share with everyone before getting to far. I glimpse into the music I love, but far beyond that, the lyrics are a powerful message and declaration of faith through all things in life. Please check it out, read the lyrics and declare them for yourself.
One week ago last Friday night I took my beautiful, pregnant wife into the hospital because she was having contractions, and at three minutes to midnight the doctor delivered our third child, our second son, Jackson Henry Matthew. As most babies do when they first meet the world, his first duty was testing his lungs and vocals, screaming loud and proud like a true angry baby needing food. As Saturday progressed, so did issues. They had put Jackson in the Neonatal ICU due to fluid still hanging around in his lungs, which was common in babies that were earlier than 38 weeks (Jackson was 37 weeks and two days). It just seemed that since Jacksons birth he under went some massive moments of discomfort, and the deeper I looked, the more God painted me a picture of growing and developing faith.
Before a baby is born, the baby has it made. He is in a nice warm sack that keeps him toasty, a tube is connected directly to his stomach, so eating is a breaze, and breathing? I'm still not sure how that one works. And darkness is just a given. Then, all of a sudden, they're ripped out of their comfort zone. Darkness is replaced with bright florecent lights, the feeding tube is maliciously cut away from their tummies, and now they have to keep their own temprature, AND breathe on their own. Life sucks sometimes.
The point is here: In order for a baby to progress from inception to birth, there must be discomfort. And if there is no discomfort, families are faced with the horror and pain of a family death. Is our progression in faith painless? Do we experience absolutely no discomfort? If we don't we're not experiencing progression, we're experiencing regression. James 1:2,3-"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."
James' first message to the twelve tribes immediately following his greeting is ultimately, don't avoid discomfort and trial, but accept them, and (taking it one step further) turn your pain into joy. When we put our all into God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), He puts His all into us. He desires us to cultivate, and grow into something so much more than what we are. When we face any discomfort, it is always used for our growth as a strengthening of faith, even if it be discomfort caused by some evil means, it is still a tool used by God for our good. Even those who don't believe in God are faced with discomfort for the purpose of seeds to be planted
I am convinced that this acceptance and embracment of discomfort is vital to our walk with the Lord, without out it, there is no way we can progress. It is a heartbreaking situation to lose an unborn child, just as much, it is a heart breaking thing for God to lose his children that have not been born again, and have not accepted that discomfort, but instead that discomfort into pain, and turned their anger on a God of love.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
First thing's first. I want to make something explicitly clear, and I don't mean to sound rude. I love all the positive reinforcement I've been getting from family and friends on my blog, and by no means do I want to discourage anyone from it, but here is my issue: I have only two guys I know of reading this blog, again girls love your reinforcement. Guys if you could get other gentlemen reading this, that would be spectacular. I'm doing this for guys to read and hopefully gain some understanding and wisdom in their married lives, and some Jesus at the same time. It is not for girls to read and nod their heads and agree. If you agree OK, if you learn and gain, so much better, that being said, let's start seeing some testosterone. Now I need some brawny music to get started.
My wife tends to display to me some quite profound wisdom in the form of simple and direct questions. And it is from one of these moments that I really gained a greater understanding of marriage, and a marital relationship. The idea of having a good marital relationship is that you know your partner better than anyone else in the world. As Pastor Jerry Solis of Riverside Church put it: Where secrets live intimacy dies, and where intimacy lives secrets die. A complete nakedness and vulnerability is vital to a good marriage. This is what my wife had got me thinking about: Am I treating my wife like my best friend?
Do you treat your wife like your best friend? I turned this question over and over in my head. I thought of my answer first, no I wasn't it. Was this biblically accurate? How could it not be, God made us into one flesh, and even though wedding vows are taken with mostly cavalier attitudes, God takes them seriously. Now in my life what would a relationship with my best friend be like? Thanks to my church, and answered prayers I've got some wonderful friends. Many of whom I feel I can speak openly with about anything, and I know they'll be there to celebrate with me when I'm happy, and support me when I'm down. Can I do that with my wife? Do I feel I can speak openly with her? What makes things worse, how does she feel? She chose to take a part in my life with me, to share in an adventure with me. How insulted does she feel? If I didn't treat her like my best friend, let alone call her my best friend, and yet she followed me out of love, how does that feel?
So I made it a point from now on, that I will treat her like my best friend in the world. Why? Because she is. When I asked her to marry me, she would have followed me to the ends of the earth and back again. I made a lot of really stupid mistakes early on in our marriage, and still do, and yet every single morning I woke up, there she was. Every time I lost my temper, she never left. Our first year together got bad, and of all the times I turned my back and walked away just hoping and praying the arguing would just disappear, she never ever left. Not only did she never leave, but she'd come looking for me to make sure I was safe.
My wife never got on the pedestal she deserved. And when I told her "I do" I promised her I'd be her best friend for life, and I never was. Guys these days have lost so much so hard thanks to all the medias prone attention to all the negativity of masculinity. It has become OK to forget our wedding vows and leave our wives behind. Kids? Kids are just a bi factor, if they get caught in the cross hairs, that's too bad, but whats a guy going to do? He's got a new woman, and a job, he has got to do what is best for himself.
"Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, giving himself up for her..." We are not our own gentleman. We are first God's, we were bought with the price of Jesus Christ. In the same way we are to lay our lives down for our wives. If you're whining and complaining about how your case is different because your wife is never happy with you, boo hoo hoo. How many times do you fight God? How many times do you want to give up with God? Even if you deny God, His gift and promise are still there for the taking, period. Start treating your wife like your best friend, and your only beloved, because she is.
Posted by zaomike at 10:25 AM