This month's Marriage Monday offers the opportunity to share our Christian testimony as we share the wooing of our First Love - the Lord Jesus. His love is the true love that affects every relationship we have, especially those closest to us, including our mates.
Although the thread of my parent's love for me ran deep through my childhood, poor choices, arguments, inconsistency, unfaithfulness, insecurity and many other ups and downs marked my life while growing up. The example of love and marriage set before me lacked a genuineness and depended upon circumstances rather than faith and hope in God. My earliest memories were of my family sitting together in church then only in a few short years later plunged into a home filled with arguments, bickering, and ultimately the devastation of unfaithfulness and separation.
During my teenage dating years, I consistently made poor choices and was headed completely in a direction that would have caused considerable pain and turmoil in my life. There was no standard set before me or example of godliness, holiness or purity during these teenage years. When I met a boy on the school bus who was much different than I had met before, I was drawn and taken by him. As we grew closer and I met his family, there was a wholesomeness and stability in them that my heart longed for.
Since I attended a Christian school, I knew all about God. I had memorized Scripture, sang the Bible songs and even repeated the sinners prayer in 3rd grade. All this knowledge was in my head and not my heart. With encouragement from my boyfriend, we began attending church with his family. It felt good to be in church and I was comfortable in the fact that my Christian school training allowed me to be familiar with the songs, verses and Christian lingo.
As the Lord began to deal with my heart, I was challenged that God doesn't just change our mind, but He changes the heart and the essence of our life. As my boyfriend and I were now engaged, we discussed joining the church, knowing this was the right path to take. One night during a sermon preached by a teenage boy, God's Word brought conviction to both of our hearts that we were indeed sinners and although I had repeated the sinner's prayer, I now understood the gravity of my sin and the mercy, grace and forgiveness that the Lord extended to me. It wasn't about simply saying the right words, it was about a desire to leave the old life of sin and embrace the life of becoming a new creation in Christ. This same night, we both confessed our sin to the Lord and accepted His free gift of salvation. We began a new life together as Christians.
As we entered our marriage, our first love is the Lord. He fills our heart with His love and that true love extends to one another, into our home and family. What a blessing it was to begin a marriage that God established. The ups and downs from my childhood were changed into a steadfast hope in the Lord. Feelings may come and go, circumstances always change, but with trust, faith and hope in the Lord, His love is a sure foundation to build on and continue to live in.