Last But Not Least
This is bittersweet. Our last April Maura Marriage Series blog post from the book, “What Did You Expect?” Paul David Tripp has provided us with grace-filled truth and practical application of that truth. He has glorified God in all the ways He deserves. He has spoken about the grace of God, the hope of God, and the goodness of God because of the cross. There is an understanding of how difficult marriage is, and how different our expectations of marriage are. Yet, he writes words of light and of wisdom from the Word of God. In this last chapter called, “Worship, Work, and Grace,” he wraps up the book with final encouragements of where to find hope when our marriages seem hopeless.
The Heartbeat of Marriage
What is the heartbeat behind marriage? What is it that gets us through the valley lows and mountain highs? We are constantly going through the eb and flow of life as individuals, let alone as two messy people. How is it possible within our own human strength to get though the darkest parts of our hearts and of this life?
A solid marriage of unity, understanding, and love is a marriage that is honorable and impactful. We are called to live in healthy marriages that are mutually understanding, constantly loving, and of a unified mind.
There is only one way that gives us hope to have this kind of marriage when we are continually learning how to “toil and trust,” as Tripp puts it.
He is Full of Grace and Truth
The heartbeat of our marriages and the hope we have can be explained by one word. Grace. God’s grace gives us the power and strength to get through another day. God’s grace gives us the forgiveness to repent and change our minds and reconcile to each other. God’s grace gives us the understanding that we all fall short and are in need of a Savior in Jesus.
We can either live by striving for grace or by receiving grace. God gives us grace and our job is to receive it for ourselves first, and for our spouses, and for our marriages.
In all the toiling that we do for our marriages, it is important to know that we don’t toil in vein, but in trust, to grow us to who God created us to be. And that Jesus gives us grace in it all. No marriage is too far from God. No marriage is too broken from His restorative and powerful Hand. No marriage is without hope. When it comes to allowing God to do the work, beautiful creation is made. But in order to allow God to move, we have to open our hearts to repentance, being willing to change and worship Him with all of our mind, heart, and soul.
Worshipping anything above God, misplaces everything else. Our priorities become out of order. For us to put hope back into our marriages, we must put God back into His rightful place. He must become the object of our affection and adoration before any other person or thing or place or dream, especially ourselves and our spouses.
When we can come to the cross and worship Jesus for all that He has done for us, and for who He is, and be thankful for Him above anything else, our hearts will align where they were created to be…with His. Our marriages will be poured into the way they were created and they will nurtured the way God intended.
Worshipping God is the key to help our marriages grow in unity, understanding, and love. Worshipping anything or anyone else, will only lead us down a path of self-righteousness or idolatry.
We work at it and then we build trust. And then we fail….Enter grace.
We toil again, to trust again. Enter grace.
Maybe we even fail again. More than likely we will. But then…Enter grace.
The constant work and commitment to marriage is real. It is hard and difficult. The road is narrow, but that road less traveled is right where we should be. If your marriage feels like it’s too far gone or the light is dimly lit, seek God’s face. Ask Him to show up. He is with you and take heart, because we are ALL in this together. You are never alone. I leave you with these two things:
- Worship Him before yourself, your spouse, and your marriage. Set Him on the throne of grace that we so boldly run to, in His rightful place.
- Pray. Confess your weakness before Him, and be willing to change, and work for your marriage. To commit yourself first wholeheartedly to Him, and then to your marriage. His grace changes everything.
Thank you for allowing me to speak into your hearts. It’s been an honor and a blessing for my own marriage.
AUTHOR OF THE MARRIAGE SERIES: Taylor Wild
Note: We do not hold degrees in psychology, nor are we doctors, but people who have a heart to share wisdom.
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Many thanks to the wedding creative team who helped in the celebration of two souls committing the promise of forever:
Ceremony Venue: VENUE AT THE GROVE
Reception Venue: VENUE AT THE GROVE
Photographer: APRIL MAURA PHOTOGRAPHY
Wedding Planner: VENUE AT THE GROVE
Caterer: ENSEMBLE CATERING
Florist: WILD CHILD FLORAL DESIGN
Dress: GRACE STYLE & BRIDAL
Make-up/Hair: SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL HAIR AND MAKEUP
Bride’s Jewelry: Gifts from Groom
Bride’s veil: GRACE STYLE & BRIDAL
Bride’s Shoes brand: DAVID’S BRIDAL
Bridesmaid dresses (store): DAVID’S BRIDAL
Grooms attire: MEN’S WAREHOUSE
Groom’s cufflinks: Gift from bride
Groom’s tie/bow-tie: MEN’S WAREHOUSE
DJ/Band: DIRECT SOUNDS ENTERTAINMENT
Videographer: SOMETHING NEW MEDIA
Guest’s favors: Tags: PAPERLOVEPRINTS on Etsy
Wedding Cake: RUZE CAKE HOUSE
Linens: VENUE AT THE GROVE
Wedding Rings: SHANE CO.