What I Deserve Isn’t What I Have

Josh and I were told to read several books for marriage counseling (For Men Only, For Women Only and Book of Romance) We read (random: why can’t the past tense of read be spelled red, like it sounds?) For Men/Women Only way back in the fall. A friend told us about them, and we read them not knowing that they were on our marriage counseling list. We just started Book of Romance this week. Here is the lesson I learned/ reminder I received (and I’m only finished with chapter 2).

The book suggests that when dating (and dating implies getting to know one another, “no strings attached.” Courting is an exclusive dating relationship. Oh the language!), couples should pay attention to how one another responds to stressful situations. With that being said, let’s back up. I’ve been rather busy doing some wedding planning lately. With invitations, RSVP cards, showers, thank you notes, etc., I was beginning to feel a tad bit overwhelmed. So Josh, being the awesome guy that he is, said that he would order our book. It was just one thing that he could take off my plate. Thoughtful, right? Well, this week the book came in, and he was super pumped! He called me and said,” Hey! Our book came in!!” My first response wasn’t, “Yay! That’s awesome.” It was, “Book? You only ordered one book? How are we supposed to read this in a timely manner if we’re having to pass it back and forth?” So loving right? Whoops! Well, we worked through that. The wedding is STILL ON! (It was never off.) But me, in my frazzled-gotta-have-everything-correct-by-MY-standards-way, took away his excitement for the book and marriage counseling. In my time of stress, I didn’t react well!

Here comes the convicting part: I opened the book that night to begin reading, and one of the first things it talks about is how you want your dating partner to respond well in times of stress. It said it was very telling of that person’s character and moral standing. Ouch! Luckily, Josh still loves me despite my imperfections, which lead me to thinking about the beauty of grace.

Grace is a word I’ve really been pondering a lot this year, but specifically this semester. Isn’t it wonderful that “God, being rich in mercy, with His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. (It is by grace we have been saved)”? {Ephesians 2:4-5} In light of how completely immersed in sin I am- born into it. soaked in it. can’t get out of it alone.- I don’t deserve pretty much anything. Why do I get to be born into a loving home, with parents that love each other and can provide a stable home and education for me? The majority of the world’s inhabitants don’t have half of that! Why do I get to have amazing, encouraging friends? Why do I get to have the awesomest future hubs in the whole wide world? I’m a wretched sinner, and don’t DESERVE any of this. What I deserve is eternal damnation. But not only does God give me these wonderful people in my life, but He offers me something much better- an eternal life and relationship with HIM! It is BY GRACE I have been saved. Not because of my works or how many Bible studies I attend/lead or being nice to people or going to church. It is solely by the saving grace of God.

My point in all of this is the symbolism of forgiveness, loving through the brokenness. Granted, getting upset over a book isn’t the absolute worst thing I could’ve done (I could’ve thrown the book at his head?). But it, without a doubt, did not show love. However, through this bad behavior, Josh loved me. Through our sin, our messy lives, God loves us. He offers us a free gift of grace. This grace was displayed in sending His son, Jesus Christ, to Earth to live a sinless life and then die on a cross for our sinful lives. Nothing (comfortable lives, a degree, awesome friends, or even the awesomest future hubs) can take you to heaven, bring you more joy or display love better than Jesus Christ. Throw off that other stuff, and accept this gift! After all, it IS Easter and that’s the whole reason we’re celebrating. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not about eggs or a bunny.

No, Easter isn't about eggs or bunnies, but aren't they cute!!?? Just a sweet little image to leave you with!

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