facing struggles together

Surely That’s Not What I Promised!

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facing struggles together

I walked out of my counseling office and was greeted by a fine looking man probably in his late 40’s. He addressed me, “You’re Janet Congo, aren’t you?” I replied, “Yes” and I searched his face. He went on to say,

“You gave my wife and I premarital counseling years ago prior to our wedding. I am in this office today because I’m bringing my son and daughter in to see one the therapists who works with kids. My wife, their mother, just died of cancer.”

My heart broke. I was pierced by his pain and his vulnerability. He showed me a family picture with his exquisitely beautiful wife in it.

Life is both brutal and beautiful! One is never certain what challenge is around the next corner. If you’re going through a blissful time, embrace and enjoy it. An opportunity for growth is looming just around the curve.

When we say, “I DO” we think we know what the future is going to hold. Few of us face our wedding day thinking of sickness, poverty, and worse whatever that means. In fact, often when any of those realities hit, we ignore the “to love and cherish part” that we pledged on our wedding day and we often move away or against our mate rather than towards them.

This isn’t what we expected, yet it is what we promised!

Our promise to each other, for those of us who call ourselves Christ followers, is not based on human tenacity and will power, even though I have more than a fair share of both. It is based on God’s unconditional love, and His encompassing and indiscriminate grace to each of us.

There are no perfect people in God’s Kingdom on earth. If you have been hurt by someone who is a Christian, I am deeply sad but not surprised. Those of us who have stepped into the world of faith acknowledge that each of us is broken beyond our ability to repair ourselves. That reality is also true of our mate. So two imperfect, unfinished humans have the audacity to stand before God, the minister, family and friends and pledge to love the other with a love that imitates God’s.

Belief is more than words, it is really hard work!

Imagine what would happen in our relationships if we truly “Loved God with our whole heart, mind, and soul and loved our mate wholeheartedly. Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 13:5,

humility in the face of struggles

“Love is not self seeking”

If Christian couples were seeking each other’s best out of freedom, not control, we would be far better advertisements for God’s love. Our relationship would be described by those who know us as loving, gracious, forgiving, serving, empowering, joyous, truth telling, sacrificial, boundary setting, discussion welcoming, and kind.

Without Christ’s transformation of us individually that is an impossible dream.

In and of ourselves, we don’t create that kind of a relationship.

Life is going to test your spirit and at times break your heart. It will require that you face sickness, poverty, deadlines, disappointments, betrayals, anxieties, and even death to name just a few realities.

Commitment and belief don’t ensure that we won’t struggle. They do determine the outcome of the struggle.

If in those times you, as lovers, turn towards each other rather than turning away or against each other, your relationship will deepen your dependence on God and your connection with each other.

You both will be conscious lovers empowered by the greatest Conscious Lover of all time, the Great Love of the Universe. Only when you choose to hold each other through the tumultuous storms of life, will you have found your way home!

Until the next Conscious Lover’s Blog…

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