For Better or For Worse…

By the time you read this, I should be well on my way to celebrate my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. My “ride or die” and I are off to spend some quality time together as we reminisce upon our better and our worse, the rich and the poor and appreciate the fact we are in relatively good health.

We are no longer the wide-eyed twenty somethings who were engaged in just six weeks. Twenty-five years later, we have been through some things.

Births and deaths.

Gains and losses.

More grey hairs.

Still, I can thankfully say the “worse” made us better instead of bitter.

We learned to compromise and admit our faults. We can now balance our strengths and tolerate our weaknesses. Most importantly, we learned to rely on God instead of ourselves.

 Through two kids, five homes, six cities, eleven pets and too many career choices to mention (both his and mine) we managed to keep it together.

And sometimes “together” is more than enough.

We now find ourselves back where we began, just the two of us.

Another cycle of life. Sunrise, sunset.

Happy Anniversary Rod Raphael!

Our “better” has far exceeded our “worse.”

We truly are blessed.

And now, we are off on another adventure. Hubby and I are headed to view some amazing sunrises that we may cherish them later in our sunset.

God willing, together.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 NIV

Examine Your Relationship!

When people first fall in love, odds are they will do just about anything to be with the one they love. New love prompts people to spend as much time as possible with a potential spouse or companion. There is a want and a willingness to please the other person. The needs and wants of their loved one become a priority!

Yet as the years go on, we may find ourselves taking for granted the very person we were once willing to go to the ends of the earth for. The companionship of that spouse or significant other is not the priority it once was.  That transition in stages from “getting to know you,” to “endless love,” and then to “comfort and familiarity” can eventually descend into something not that loving at all.

In some relationships where there was once a steadfast love and appreciation for the other person, excitement and joy diminish leaving a relationship where one or more parties become undervalued and taken for granted.

Unfortunately, many allow this same lack of enthusiasm and zeal to infiltrate their relationship with God!

Even though grateful for salvation, some of us no longer seek Him with the enthusiasm and determination once reserved for that newfound love. Instead, we lie back comfortably in our blessed assurance but don’t continue to appreciate all that God has to offer and fail to put in the time necessary to deepen and further that relationship.

Successful marriages take time and effort. They don’t just happen. There is significant sacrifice, consideration and effort placed into making a good marriage work.

Our relationship with God is no different! For us to have the very best relationship with God possible, we must put in time and effort. This relationship requires sacrifice, often the very things and people we enjoy! Every relationship requires give and take yet many people base their relationship with God in terms of taking what He can give instead of giving of their time, talents, finances, praise and worship to make that relationship even better.

Great relationships are also based on great communication. We often want to talk to God, but do we listen with the same enthusiasm and willingness to hear what He would say? Unlike relationships with people, what God says to us is flawless. Some of us are quicker to follow bad advice from imperfect people than to take direction from Perfection.

Accepting God’s gift of salvation is a first step just like the bride and groom who commit to one another at the altar. However, if that relationship is to grow, develop and sustain itself through “for better and for worse, richer and poorer, good times and in bad” we have to deepen our commitment, resolve and desire to make the most of the relationship.

This means instead of asking God, “why me?” or pouting because a promise has yet to be fulfilled, or circumstances are not as expected we need to do those things necessary to deepen and improve the relationship. It is prudent that we make God a priority just like a new love. We are to seek Him, His presence and  His Word that our relationship would grow and not stagnate. Many couples have a “date night” or designated time set aside for one another to nourish their relationship. If you want your relationship with God to thrive, it is necessary you deliberately set time aside for Him!

If you feel like you are missing something, not living your life to the fullest or there is a void you can’t quite put your finger on, take time to truly search yourself and examine your relationship!

Are you just talking to God occasionally or are you in a committed relationship?

“…And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you,” Isaiah 62:5 NKJV