So, I had a blog all written and ready to post today, but as I celebrated my 36th wedding anniversary yesterday, the Lord began to prompt me to write about marriage. I was kind of hoping by this morning the prompting would go away and I could just publish the blog I had ready. But, as I spent some time with the Lord this morning He began to speak again…this time He reminded me of the verse…
“These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.” Titus 2:4
This verse has been somewhat of a mystery to me through the years. When I was younger I didn’t know who the older women were who I was suppose to learn from. I didn’t know exactly what kind of training God meant for me personally. I did have some women in different seasons of my life that were ahead of me, so to speak, who I could look to for wisdom and guidance, and I am thankful for all that I have gleaned from them.
This morning while I was meditating on this verse I asked the Lord about this…”who in my life has trained me to love my husband, to love my children?” What God said to me wasn’t what I had expected. He said it was my mother. It wasn’t what I expected because I always read this verse as someone other than family and because I had a different view of the word, “training”. But God showed me that is exactly what my mother did when she loved my father and when she raised me. Her faithfulness to my father, her love and submission to him, and her caring for him was actually my “training” for loving my husband. My mother’s love and care for me was my “training” to love my children.
Throughout my parent’s marriage they experienced some tragic situations and some ongoing hardships concerning their children. My sister was diagnosed with Spinal Atrophy at the age of 18 months. So with the combination of that diagnosis and an operation to correct her scoliosis, Sheryl spent her life in a wheel chair, needing total care. My bother miraculously survived a fall down Bushkill Falls at the age of two, but my mother heard his screams of “Mommy” for months later. I almost died at the age of nine from a bee sting.
All this to say, my parents had their share of difficulties in their lives, but in spite of these challenges they were committed to each other and to their marriage. This strong commitment came from their strong faith. They believed in God. They believed in God’s word. They lived according to God’s word.
Marriage is a covenant between husband and wife in the presence of God. It is a vow that is not intended to be broken…
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6
I grew up knowing this verse and believing that marriage is for life.
When the Lord showed me this morning that I received much of my training from my mother it caused me to so appreciate the example she set for me. I realized that it was her training; her love and her faithfulness to my father, and the stability of my patent’s marriage, that provided me an anchor to hold onto when I was being tossed and turned by the raging waves of life.
Mark and I didn’t experience such tragic things concerning our children, but we went through other types of difficulties that were meant to divide us and to break us apart. Strategies of the enemy came upon us that many would say were beyond hope. How could a marriage withstand such trials?
I believe it was this…
Mark and I were both raised to believe marriage is forever; for better or for worse, till death do us part. With this belief as our anchor God gave each of us the grace, power, and love to survive some of the most difficult situations a marriage can face.
What the enemy meant for harm, God intended for good!
The enemy’s strategy is to divide and conquer. When he attacks it is meant to steal, kill, and destroy. This is what he is doing in so many marriages and families today. It is one of his greatest agendas because of how it affects families and communities for generations.
The covenant of marriage isn’t just about the relationship between the two partners, but it affects generations, and it affects all those who couple influence around them.
Whenever a strategy of the enemy is thwarted those who win the battle come through stronger and wiser.
Whenever an anniversary comes around I am reminded of God’s amazing grace, power, and love! I know without God we wouldn’t be celebrating these years of marriage. I don’t take them for granted and I consider this wonderful journey in life with Mark to be an incredible blessing and one which I value greatly.
I am reminded too that I am now an older woman who is “training”my daughter how to love her husband and her children. The ways in which I love Mark; how I treat him, speak to him, the words I say about him, the ways I submit to his leadership, all these she is watching, observing, experiencing. She is being “trained” whether or not either one of us is aware. I pray that I “train” her to love her husband, and to love her children according to God’s word and that my “training” will equip her and give her a solid foundation so that when the enemy’s strategies come against her she will stand firm.