|Photo by Candida Performa/Wikimedia Commons.|
She knows she will also get a strong dose of love served up with them.
The momma looks at her little girl, her one precious daughter. She loves being a mom, being the one to pray for this baby girl, to hold her tightly every night and sing old songs to her—songs from her momma. Her daughter’s coffee brown eyes look up at her, and she melts into them as the little one asks her burning question.
"What was it like growing up in your house as a little girl?"
The mom stops for a minute and thinks. She instantly transports herself back in time and memories flash in front of her eyes. She remembers playing in the big barn with her sisters, chasing the cats and trying to find the kittens that the mommas always hide. She remembers going to church (she loved to dress up) and singing songs about Jesus and then watching Him live through her parents at home.
The memories come flooding back with that one simple question. The innocent inquiry from a little girl who wants to relate, wants to know her family, the legacy that has been handed down to her.
The momma brings the daughter onto her lap, and gets ready to pass on the baton, the love, the memories, the entire life that was built for her.
She tells her precious one all about growing up with her mom and dad. How they protected her, loved her, taught her all about Jesus and then showed Him to her through their marriage.
Her memories of that are especially vivid.
Dad would always hug and love on Mom and she relished it. She would laugh and they would share private jokes that only the two of them knew. Mom tried hard to honor and respect him and would become especially upset if any of her girls disrespected Dad. That was one thing you didn't do!
She remembers it all, the feeling of security these two people gave her. She knew that no matter how hard it got, how much her own life seemed to be in turmoil, her mom and dad would always be together and always be there for her.
They were one.
One flesh--one person almost--moving together as one, loving each other more than themselves, spilling that love out onto the children.
The girls soaked it up, lived in the light of their parents’ marriage and grew up always wanting that kind of love. Yes, they argued and didn't always agree, but they always loved. That was what bound their family together and held them tight through the hard times. Her mom, who didn't always have it all together, tried her best and she saw it.
Tears spill down her face as she recounts for her daughter the precious marriage of her parents. Her own marriage is starting to look the same, even though there are fault lines along the way, places where they've hurt each other, places built up with forgiveness. But she loves her husband and they figure it out and remember to always love.
She had a great model.
The first marriage book she ever read was her parents’ marriage.
No, love doesn't put food on the table, but it sure does make the scarcity of it easier to bear.
This marriage inheritance is what makes her fight, what makes her hold on to her own marriage. She loves her memories, loves sharing them with her own baby girl, loves that her parents gave her something to hang on to.
Something to pass down.
She wants that for her own children, to continue the legacy of showing Jesus through her marriage, living out the forgiving gospel of the One who loves her more than anything.
Her questions now answered, the little girl jumps down after a quick hug to her momma and runs away to play out her grandparents’ lives with her dolls. She will think on this for many days, remembering the warm feeling her heart had as she listened to her mom and watched her happy tears roll down.
This scene--this future script being written out--can be reality for me.
My legacy, the one I leave and the one that is handed down, will be my marriage, my life lived out behind closed doors.
There will be generations of children, people affected by how I treat my husband today. Walking in obedience to Jesus towards my husband can replay through the lives of my grandchildren.
I gasp for air as I think on this, try to wrap my heart and mind around it. I have messed up so many times, showed my children just the opposite of all they should be seeing. My marriage has been one of struggles, tears and frustrations. But it’s also been one of mercy, grace and healing, as I walk in step with the Word and let it guide me.
I need to silence the enemy's accusations that it is too late to start over, too late for our marriage. I want a marriage full of love and harmony. I want to fill my children's memories full of the good things we shared as a couple. I'm going to blink and it'll all be over. I have to live in Today and hold on tight to my husband.
Three things you can do to intentionally love your husband and make this a reality for your marriage.
1). Remember, always, that Jesus is your first husband. He loves you with a perfect and everlasting love. You are His and He can love you perfectly, filling up all the cracked areas in your soul, the ones your husband can’t fill but you want him to. Jesus. He is the one to cling to, to turn to when you can’t even breathe one more moment in your husband’s presence. Please, please go to Him. Spend time every day with Him, reading His life-giving Words, studying His blood shed for you and relishing in His forgiveness and grace. You will be rewarded with words like these when you obediently go to Him first:
"I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. Ezekiel 16:8
2). Walk towards your husband. No matter how he has treated you. No matter what he has done to you. He is not perfect and he deserves as much grace as you do. Jesus gave you grace. Give it to your husband, too. Don’t turn away from him. Don’t’ shut your heart off to him. Don’t close up and turn inside yourself. Stay outward, always moving toward him, always holding your heart in your hand, like a gift you want to give him. It’s OK. Jesus is with you, walking with you, ready to catch your heart in case your husband mistreats it. But don’t stop. Don’t give up. Always continue walking towards your husband.
3). Forgive. Forgive him, even though. Tell him out loud that you forgive him. Tell yourself that you forgive him. Do it every day, every minute if you have to. There is no successful marriage that is not built up by a thousand bricks of forgiveness. This will take tremendous amounts of humility. It’s OK. It’s OK to not always be right. It’s OK to not always win. It’s OK to let go of the bitter grudge that’s lodged itself in your heart and has been there for a long time. Jesus will heal that wound. He’s got this. Your marriage is not too big for him. Remember how much you need God’s forgiveness. Remember you are not perfect. Remember how you cannot survive without daily doses of Mercy and Grace. Your marriage cannot survive without your daily doses of oxygen in the life-giving form of forgiveness.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15
Amber has a deep love for coffee, running, reading, her 4 girls and her husband, but probably not in that order. She spends most of her days homeschooling her children and trying to keep the house somewhat picked up for her husband. Her other love of cooking is what makes him OK with a messy house. Amber is a new blogger and you can find her at Composing Hope. She meets Hope in that writing place and wants to spread His healing words to the hurting world.