This past Saturday afternoon after lunch my wife went out with our middle daughter and I was home updating some work emails and filing some papers. My son, to my surprise, asked if he could watch a video. The Video that he chose was not that of a superhero variety nor of an action move, rather, it was a copy of our wedding video. I was amazed at his endurance in watching this video. I was also very surprised and emotional as I heard various parts of it while finishing up filing and working and blogging. Looking at my bride in her beautiful dress and the men that were standing up with me and the vows being taken really caught me in an emotional place. I looked back at the video and realized how clueless I was about my role and responsibility as man, husband and ultimately spiritual leader of my household. One part of the video that inspired me to write this post, was when the pastor asked, "who gives this woman to be married to this man?" My father-in-law stated, "Because of the love and respect that my wife and I have for our daughter's choice, her mother and I do." I have heard this video before and watched some of the highlights over the last 11 years of marriage. I always enjoyed looking back to such a great day in November. I was married in November, I became and Christian in November and I am blogging this post in November - God must really be telling me to be thankful for what he has done for me in this life (and I am).
Steps that I have taken, am taking and will take to ensure this:
1) Read the Word daily
2) Pray daily
3) Spend quiet time with the Lord (this is a work in progress for me as I have been struggling with my early morning routine)
My father-in-law is a very smart and wealthy man in God's eyes because he knows the importance of family and the importance of keeping the love of his wife. They are a role model to me in marriage and it is clearly evident in their 3 daughters with their husbands (my wife included in this). They understand the value of family and the importance of putting God in the center and family next. His role is to be the Spiritual leader of his house. Does he get it all perfect? Absolutely not, he is a man like the rest of us. But when it is said and done and he has breathed his last breath in this life his legacy will be that of a man who loved God and family and enjoyed the joy that he received from the Lord.
Some of you may be reading this and wondering why life has not handed you this avenue. Some of you may be dealing with the loss of a spouse through death and/or divorce while others may be longing for a wife and really desire that companionship that comes with it. I don't have the answers for you, but I can confidently point you to someone who does. Read lists 1-5 above and commit these things to you life. If your marriage is broken or it is lost, it is not impossible for God to fix it. Nothing is impossible when we put our trust in God. If it is lost (spouse has died) you can put your comfort and trust in God and His son Jesus Christ.
What I do know is that God loves us so much that He gave his only Son for us to die for our sins and to pay the cost of sin that we could not pay. I don't understand what some of you may be going through because I have not lived that life. I can assure you that I do know some who have experienced that has experienced this loss. They tell me daily that the church, and men's group and the Lord have been their family through this trying times. The church and its members have been their community in getting them through those difficult times and some still are processing and grieving.
So what are some of the steps can you take if you are in either empty or loss mode:
2) Get in community
3) Get professional counseling
4) Wait on the Lord and ask for Him to be your portion through these difficult times.
In all you do, Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."