Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loving Jesus More - A Time to Clarify

My post yesterday was simply some meandering thoughts in my head that I felt like sharing. I am always so surprised at different responses to my posts, especially via Facebook. Sometimes, I fail to remember that not everyone knows all the thousands of thoughts that raced through my head when I wrote the post, so I always find it interesting when someone reads into my writings a little bit differently than I myself did. :-) But it's very good for me to go back, reevaluate what I said, and clarify it even in my own head.  So today I thought I would add a little clarifying to yesterday's post.

I think the paragraph that threw a few people for a loop was this one:
"Sometimes, I think in our dreamy states of longing for that godly significant other, we young ladies forget to actually think about what we're dreaming of. After hearing that story I had to ask myself, "Would I really be a wife willing to sacrifice her husband for the sake of him loving Jesus more?" It would be excruciatingly hard. It would be painful. But the truth is, I can't follow a man that doesn't love Jesus more. I need a man that puts Christ first and foremost in his life. And if that means I might lose my man, then I pray that God will give me the strength to endure. "

Okay, so the first thing I want to point out is that my statement in bold is a very true conviction I have. I really believe that my husband needs to love Jesus more than me. However, I don't think that means my man is going to come perfectly matured and completely strong in his faith. Growing in maturity and faith in God is a life-long process. I am sure that the Iranian pastor I spoke of is probably a lot more mature and experienced in his faith than a young man 10 years younger that has not gone through all that this pastor has gone through. And that's okay! Every person's story is different. God brings different people through different experiences to prepare them for whatever He has coming next. I know 100% that I am not nearly as mature and strong in my faith as this pastor's wife is! But I also know that God is still working in my life, just as He is still working in hers.

I am not asking God for a perfect husband. That would be like asking God for no husband, because no man on earth is going to be perfect. And if he was perfect I would certainly ruin it, because I am FAR from perfection. However, I do ask God for a husband that loves Him more, because I believe that every person should love God more.

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt 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 shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22:36-40
(emphasis mine)
"This is the first and great commandment." Before anything else in life, we are told that first and foremost we should love God. This is for every Christian.  It is just as much a command for me as it is for my future man. We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds.  Love for others comes second.
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son of daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Matthew 10:37-39
Love for God comes first. Being a Christian is about our lives belonging to Christ. My life is not my own. It is Christ's. The more I live this life and grow in the Lord, the more my love for Him grows. But my love for Him is only a teeny, weensy pinpoint of the amount of love that Christ has poured out for me. As my love for Him grows, so does my love for others. See, from my own experience, nothing has taught me more about true love, than Christ's love for me. A man that loves Christ more than he loves me, is going to know more about true love than someone who has spent their whole life loving things or people in the world more than Christ.
"Husbands, love you wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."
Ephesians 5:25
The marriage relationship is a picture of Christ's relationship with His bride, the church. The more we learn about Christ's love, the more we know how to love one another.  Christ gave everything for his bride. Everything! Someone had mentioned that "If he loves Jesus more than you, he might not want to be married." But Christ did not abandon His bride because of His obedience to the Father.  In His obedience to God, He poured out more love for His bride than we can even fathom. This is why I am not concerned that my man will not want to be my husband anymore because he loves Christ more. If my man truly loves Christ the most, then he will know how to love me in a deeper and truer way.
So, to sum it all up, I am NOT looking to find a perfect husband. I am asking God to give me a husband that loves Him the most. Just as I seek to love the Lord first and foremost in my life, I pray that my man is also seeking to love the Lord first and foremost in his life. I cannot wait for the day that we get to grow in our love and maturity, in the Lord, together. I get excited just thinking about it! :-) It will be hard and we will make mistakes. There will be times when we fail to love the Lord first and foremost in our lives, but by God's grace, I pray that He will be the center of our lives till the end!

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