Monday, April 12, 2010

Vigilant

Marriage has changed for me since that day almost fourteen years ago when I said, "I do."

On August 31, 1996, I agreed to a long list of promises.  "To love as God loves me.  To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance." 

We have it hanging on the wall in our bedroom.  So we don't forget.

But sometimes I think that the bedroom is perhaps the easiest place to remember those promises.  So maybe I should hang it in the kitchen where I make chicken soup when he's sick.  Then I could remind myself how excited I was that day in August when I made the promise to cherish him.  Even when he lays in bed all day with a box of kleenex and the television remote.  (I am not very merciful with my husband when he's sick.  Sad.  But true.)  Or maybe I should hang it by the computer where we pay the bills and work out the monthly budget.  So I remember how delighted I was on my wedding day when I promised to have him and to hold him no matter what kind of cars we drive.  Or how many times he takes me out to eat.

Because when I'm excited about something, it's easy to serve.  But when the stomach flu and job-changes and children's schedules enter in, the promise gets harder to keep.  And the faithfulness has to kick in when the fresh excitement steps out.

That's why I've taken on this new vigilance challenge

According to http://www.dictionary.com/, vigilance means, "keenly watchful to detect danger; wary: a vigilant sentry. ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful." 

If I am truly going to keep these vows that I made that sunny day in August when I was all dressed up and beautiful,  with all of my loved ones looking on, then I have to stay "keenly watchful to detect danger."  I have to be "ever awake and alert."  I can't let up even for a minute.

Something about that sounds so . . . tiring.  And, in all truth, I can not do it.  To some extent because I'm a wuss who tires easily.  But, more than that, because I am human.  But the good news is that if I humbly look to the very God Who created marriage, He'll give me whatever it takes to do it.  He'll show me how to be vigilant in my marriage.  1 Peter 5:5-7 says,

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Then, right after that it says, the "enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

In other words, even though there is an enemy who vigilantly looks for ways to destroy us (and our marriages, I believe), if I recognize that I've got nothing to get this done right, and then, with that very attitude, I look to the very God Who created marriage, the very One Who gave my husband to me, He will take care of it.  I just gotta' ask Him.  And listen to Him through His Word.

So my vigilance includes my commitment to learn God's ways.  And to do what He says.  Which includes serving my husband.  And keeping my vows.  It's truly the only real hope there is. In marriage. In life.  And especially in vigilance.


So, how about linking up with me today in your vigilance as a wife? Can't wait to read what you write...

**If this is your first time linking up, please read this first.**
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If you don't have a blog, then leave a comment here about your husband and one way you choose to serve him today or this week.

8 comments:

cooperkelly4 said...

Hi Bri! I got on the computer this morning and was immediately looking for my Vigilant posts from you and Coby (although I know sometimes I post mine later in the day). I am right there with you. I have a copy of our vows, but not put up anywhere. They are tucked in my Bible. I would love to make some sort of scrap page and frame it in out house some where. Feeling inspired by ya. =0) you and I are moving in the same way today. I love finding the definitions of words and seeing how they apply in my life. Thanks for the reminder that the Lord is my strength to see me through this vigilance. =0)Kelly

laura said...

Hey Bria!
I've been thinking along those same lines - vigilance - but in a slightly different context: being a vigilant wife to my Heavenly Husband. There are so many ways that I commit adultery with idols (such as food), yet I am astounded that He chose me to be his wife even knowing in advance exactly how many times I'd cheat on Him! His amazing grace and overflowing love makes me all the more eager to be faithful.
May He bless you richly today with sweet reminders of His faithful love for you!
<3, laura

Coby said...

This was so encouraging, and a great reminder that as I am vigilant in my relationship with the Lord and committed to learning His ways, that He will show me how to be vigilant in my marriage. It's so simple really: just follow the Lord! Seek Him, hear Him, and obey Him! I love this post! Thank you!

Bridgett said...

I have thought a lot about the "Vigilant" post during the week. I need to honor my husband more, soften my tone and be more respectful. I need to raise my husband to his God honored place in our home. I am lost on how to acomplish all these things. One small baby step lead to two right? I am praying for a softer tongue and to be graced with more patients. My husband is very content to let me lead, he is soft spoken and quiet---and I admit, I am a control addict. Which in turn lead to his stepping back. I must overcome this to let peace abide in our household. One small step....Your posts are encouraging to me. Thank you! Bridgett

brianna said...

Bridgett, I am so glad you commented here. And so thankful to God for using me to encourage you. I can totally relate to what you're saying. My husband's quiet nature makes it easy for me to take over the lead here in our home too. And it's hard to wait on God's timing. For.real. I will pray for you. I think it's awesome that you are ready to take even one step. Then another. And I TRULY believe that God's not going to let you go wrong if you're seeking to honor Him in your marriage, which you are. And you are SO right -- one small step at a time. That's what most of my Monday vigilant posts are -- small steps to honor my husband. One more thing... I don't know if you like to read, but last year I read this book called Finding the Hero In Your Husband by Dr. Julianna Slattery. It's a little dry in my opinion, but FULL of really great practical encouragement. Blessings to you, Bridgett. I'll be praying...

katmastakins said...

Small steps to honour my husband. There was a time when it was so hard for me to just smile at my husband in the morning. I used to zombie over to the coffee machine straight from bed and not say a word to him until I've had at least half a cup of coffee. After going through the Love and Respect course (by Dr. Eggerichs) I decided to do this small thing - to greet him with a smile every morning. Oh, how my flesh struggled. But by God's grace, I've gone from a half-asleep smile to a genuine smile to a smile and a "good morning" mumble to a smile and a cheery "good morning hon" greeting to a full-out "wake-up-when-he-gets-up-no-matter-how-early-it-is-and-sit-and-talk" with a genuine smile on my face and a sweet kiss and a hug at the door before he leaves for work.

Keep asking God to show you how.

And you'll also need strength...

"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." Isaiah 40:31

Warm blessings,
Kat

brianna said...

Bridgett, Praying for you today...

Bridgett said...

I am thankful to you all for your encouragment and prayers. My small (or LARGE!!) step for me this week is to: stop, think and soften my words and tone before I speak. It is hard! I find myself snipping off a remark before I catch my tongue. Gentle words are not possible if you do not alter the way of thinking, before those words are spoken out loud. I know though, that a gentle spirit will honor my husband--might just have to resort to duct tape! :) PS Bria--I found the book on Amazon--thanks so much.

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