Thursday, July 10, 2008

BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP

As I read the comments yesterday, on my post about celebrating our 50th Anniversary YEAR, I began reflecting on what a wonderful relationship Mickey & I have and how it was something that didn't just "happen" when we became husband & wife.


Mickey & I truly are enjoying the "fruits of our labor" that we have worked hard to develop. We have been through a lot of "stuff" during these 50 years. As I've shared often before, after 25 years our marriage suffered the worst blow any marriage can suffer. We were VERY tempted to just give up, "throw in the towel" and QUIT. BUT, we didn't!!!!! As good as the first 25 years were, and they truly over all were, these last 25 have been so much more.



As I was thinking on this yesterday I was thinking about, and relating it to, our relationship with God. Just as in marriage, or any other relationship, it must be developed, worked on, change and grow for it to truly be all God wants and intends for it to become. That we don't just accept and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and suddenly have this deep, abiding, loving, mature relationship with God. We have to truly "get to know Him" better, to understand Him more completely and to be conformed to Him plans.


Lo and behold, last night when we went to Church the Pastors message was DEVELOPING A HEART FOR GOD!!! It was right along the lines that had been flowing through my mind all day. Pastor broke it down into 3 parts and I am going to share the 3 parts with you. The headings are from my Pastor, but the comments are my own thoughts.



1. An Open Heart - Getting rid of our pre-conceived ideas!!! Boy, now that's a big one in both marriage and our relationship to God. We don't just "live happily ever after" because we have become husband and wife. I know I spent a great deal of my life casting off "myths" that I had been taught. I got where I actually would say to myself, "Well, there goes another false myth!" as my eyes have been opened as it related to both my marriage and my knowledge of God. . We also don't automatically become one with God in body, spirit and soul, just because we've accepted Jesus as Savior. We have to be willing to learn the likes and dislikes, the moods, the good points and bad points of our spouse. We have to learn to know what God is really like by spending time in His Word. Learning that He is a loving God, a God of mercy and grace, but he is also a God of justice.


Just as we learn to love our spouse more deeply, as we go through both the good and the bad times together, we learn to know and understand God better, through both the good and the bad times. Yes, there are good and bad times in both our relationship with our spouse and our relationship with God. As we handle each situation, good or bad, we develop that "history" with one another that sustains us in future situations. Just as I've learned I can count on and depend on Mickey I have learned I can count and depend on God because I have the history and knowledge of past occasions.


2. A Transparent Heart - We must be real. We must be willing to share our greatest joys, and our greatest fears. We must be an open book to one another in marriage. In our relationship with God it is more about letting Him reveal our true heart, and selves, to ourselves. We are so good at deceiving our selves and refusing to look into those areas of thinking, conduct, and actions that we don't want to face. If we seek God with an open, willing heart He will go deep into our darkest parts and reveal them to us. We must desire and seek to be transparent.



3. A Broken Heart - We must be willing to confess when we have been wrong both to our spouse and to God. I have to add here also to ourselves. We must want the best for both our spouse and for God. We must get to the point where we are not willing to settle for anything but giving our best. We must be broken to know God's heart toward the lost of this world. To develop a real concern and passion that ALL come to know Him and the joy and satisfaction that we enjoy. To care about the needs and hurts of others.



The Church is called The Bride of Christ. We are called to be a pure and spotless Bride. We are being called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. For those of us who are married we have the perfect training ground for this in our marriage.



I wish for all of you to be blessed with the happy, secure, growing relationship in marriage that I enjoy in mine. I thank God daily for mine and I do not take it for granted.


More than the above, I wish for all of you to have and develop the happy, secure, growing relationship with your Lord & Savior that He intends. May we all strive and work to develop this most important of all relationship . May we truly KNOW HIM and love Him with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves .



"Jesus said unto him, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." Matthew 22:37-39


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16 comments:

The Olson's: said...

Susan,
You have hit the nail on the head! It was a couple years ago when I heard about the comparison between a marriage relationship and our relationship with God. If you go for several days/weeks without REALLY talking to our spouse, things start to break down. The same is with God. It was such a "light bulb" experience when I first heard this! I have also written about this on my blog!

I like the points your pastor made: an open heart, a transparent heart & a broken heart. Great post!
~ Leanne

Shirley said...

More good stuff - thanks! I so appreciate your wisdom. Congrats again on 50 years together!
Shirley

Tina said...

thank you for this one Susan, from one who is facing many storms in both her most important relationships.

Kitty said...

Susan, this was a great post, and even more meaningful, knowing that you successfully overcame that huge challenge after the first 25 years!! For me the hardest part is the Transparent Heart. I thought about this also when you wrote about being "real." The only way I have been able to survive in my marriage is to actually cover up my heart and only share the things that won't anger my husband. If I tried to carefully tell him something he didn't want to hear, he would get so mad it would do more harm than good, so now I just tell Jesus how I feel!! I know that's not the best way, but I keep believing that someday we will be able to communicate more meaningfully and both have Transparent Hearts!!!

Sioux said...

Lovely, Susan. I married my best friend, and after almost 32 year, he still is my best friend. God was so good, putting us together as He did! We are do blessed!!

Susan said...

Beautiful as usual, Susan.

:-) Susan

Nadine said...

Excellent post. You can see why you have been married 50 years - wisdom.

Congratulations and a Happy Anniversary - belated.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Excellent post! That is a good one to hear today and any day! Oh and happy anniversary! Better late than never!

diana said...

great post, susan. i agree that our hearts need to be engaged as in the three examples you given us. and it's something you have to work at - whether it's with our spouse or our Lord.

congratulations again on 50.

Momma Roar said...

WOW! Such a great post! Thank you for sharing what was on your heart and what your pastor shared!

I am so happy that you were able to surprise Mickey with the Phantom tickets! My parents have seen it at least 2 times, and they love it! I really enjoy the music - actually, we played it when I was in the high school orchestra.

I look forward to reading about your continued celebration. Any plans to come to PA? ;-)

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Susan...this was a great post! I love reading your thoughts and ideas.

Dawn said...

What a beautiful sermon outline, with wonderful thoughts from you. I love that you are breaking your anniversary year into special occasions. I went to Phantom years ago with my daughter, sister, and niece, but our seats were way above the action and I couldn't understand a word of the music or dialogue. Really sad. Glad you had such great seats!

inspired said...

\o/\O/\o/

weavermom said...

Susan,
I'm sorry that you had a "crisis" at 25 yrs of marriage, but so glad that you have come through it, and that you are willing to share that experience. It's encouraging, and encouraging to know that our marriages can keep growing.

I really enjoyed this post! :)

Charlotte said...

Well said Susan. Staying together for 50 years does take a lot of work, love and forgiveness. I like the way you related it to the bride of Christ. Congratulations to you and your Hubby on 50 years. Did those 50 years pass by as quickly for you as they did for me?

jen said...

Wow, good stuff.
So good to find somebody that has stuck in there all the way. That is what Dan and I want to do, will do (Lord willing).

We were both broken. Mostly by one of our children. It almost destroyed our marriage. But we stayed close in many ways and made it through.

Praise God,
jen