Monday, September 20, 2010

Marriage is like...

19 days from today, I’m getting married. I’m very excited, and naturally, a lot of my thought over the past few days/weeks/months has been about marriage and how marriage relates to everything else I’m doing in my life.

The infusion of “Holly” into my bachelor-pad has been an interesting transformation. I’ll be honest, the place looks better, and it probably smells better too. She’s added some of her own touches to the apartment over the past few weeks as she prepares to completely move in and make it her place too.

We have a lot more stuff now, than we did, most of that is the result of three bridal showers in a two week span. The sheer amount of gifts that we received from our biological families, church family, adopted families and friends has been absolutely overwhelming.

Enough about that, though. I was thinking about marriage and sanctification. Yes, I’m such a Nazarene that even when I’m thinking about marriage, I’m thinking about entire sanctification and holiness. It really is in my blood, I think.

A few weeks ago, at our weekly prayer breakfast on Tuesday morning, Pastor Izzy and I were talking to a guy in the group about holiness. He had some misinformed thoughts on the doctrine of Entire Sanctification, and Izzy and I were working with him to help him better understand the doctrine.

So, how do they match-up? What are the similarities?

Well, I’ve given it a lot of thought and here’s the big one.

Every morning, when I wake up, I have to make a choice. I choose every day to love my fiancé. In the same manner, I choose every day to love God.

I think holiness is all about loving God. Just like marriage is all about loving your spouse. When I say “love” here, I’m not referring to an emotional response; I’m talking about a choice, every day.

Every day, we need to make a choice to love God more than we love everything else. Just as when you made that commitment to your spouse, you committed to love her only and nobody else.

So, in being holy, I love God more than I love everyone else. I’m going to say Yes to God, and No to everyone else.

In 19 days, I’m making an eternal commitment to Holly. I’m not only saying Yes to her. I’m saying No to every other female that ever comes my way. Although, in my defense, it’s not like females have ever been beating down the door for me.
Holiness is exactly like Marriage.

Every day, you have a choice to make.

Every single day.

What’s your choice today?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Monday Post - Marriage Advice

So, Holly and I had two wedding showers this weekend (and one more this coming weekend). It’s been an interesting adventure, this whole process of being engaged and especially this past month-or-so of wedding planning.

To be completely honest, I never realized how much went into planning a wedding! I guess, though, in my defense I had basically just showed up to all the weddings I went to. I was in two of them, but wasn’t a part of the planning of those weddings.

There is a lot to think about as we’ve been getting closer and closer to the wedding. There has been so much preparation for the wedding, and, well, it’s slightly overwhelming. Truth be told, I wish we had just “taken the money and ran,” which was some of the first advice we got. But, my congregational view on life wouldn’t allow me to not invite my church to celebrate the marriage of one of their pastors to one of the girls they’ve seen and known since she was in diapers. As I say on Sunday mornings, we are a family. The “I’s” become “We’s” on Sunday mornings. So, we made the choice to celebrate together. We invited our family and friends and as much of the church as we possibly could to celebrate together with us.

Yesterday, we had a wedding shower, and part of the festivities of that involved all of the people (mostly ladies) in the room writing down their marriage advice to Holly and I. There was so much good advice.

The most common form of advice was to never go to bed angry. Followed by closely by one word advice, “Communication.”

I find it to be a blessing in my life that there are so many people who are willing to give me marriage advice. It truly is something I count as a blessing in my life that there are people who are willing to come alongside Holly and me, in order to teach us how to be married.

So, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned the most in our 9 months of engagement. Of all the experiences, all the thoughts, tears and laughter, what stands out as the most teachable thing I’ve learned since I rose up from my knee after hearing her barely audible “Yes”?

I guess, the most important thing I’ve learned is that I do not always have to be right. For those of you who know me, you know that I absolutely love to be right. I worked extremely hard at college so that I would be able to say the right things. I don’t want to preach bad doctrine to my teens or my congregation. I never like to have to come back and say, “I was wrong when I said…”

This has always been one of the things I struggled with the most, but I absolutely don’t like being wrong.

Now, there’s always some jaded married person, generally a man, who says “Well, get ready, because once you’re married you’ll never be right again.”

Maybe that’s true, and I’m just not experiencing that yet because we’re not married. But, in my nine months of being engaged, I’ve not experienced always being wrong.

But man, when I’m wrong, I’m never just a little wrong. It’s like a plane crash of wrong. I mean, I do something wrong, and I feel like… well, I feel terrible.
So, the lesson for me is that, I’m not always right. And when I’m wrong, I need to work to make sure that I’m not wrong anymore (about that). I guess that’s my advice.

When you’re wrong, learn from it.

What’s your advice to an almost-married couple?