Monday, September 15, 2014

Messy, Beautiful Love - Marriage Thoughts and Book Review

I don't blame the current generation for not wanting to get married.  Our culture has made it a most frightening venture -- with an over 50% fail rate, who would want to try?  Who would believe in the validity and sanctity of something that fails more times than succeeds, especially when there is so much at stake?  Especially when Christians are pushing for it so much, and then failing just as often as the secular population ... We are fallen, and we speak to others in only the way that ancient ruins do: marriage is something that was once great, but it was defeated by an enemy, or time, or both.

I don't blame this generation, but I do lament for them.  While seeking other grand adventures, they are rejecting the deepest, most exhilarating, most-worthy-to-write-about adventure that ever was and ever will be: marriage. 

This morning my husband e-mailed me this:
I woke up this morning with such great love for you.  I am so overjoyed that you are my wife.  I really do cherish you and want to be the husband that God desires for you.  You are HIS daughter and I am getting a sense right now of HOW MUCH HE LOVES YOU!!!

There is no mountain-top view, no surfing lesson, no sound of the Great Lakes that can compare with the ecstatic bliss I experience from an e-mail like that.  And don't get me wrong: I LOVE traveling the world, seeing sights, and listening to God's almighty power displayed in creation.  But the adventures of my heart are unquenched without this precious kind of love. 

Tomorrow, a book comes out that I had the pleasure to read beforehand in order to promote.  It is called Messy, Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht.  This wonderful, vulnerable gift of a woman writes about her many adventures of marriage -- the good, the unexpected, the challenges, and the soul-searching. 

With this book, Darlene gives wives a weapon against the enemy who tries to destroy marriages.  She shares her life, and challenges wives to be wise and virtuous, to be an honorable spouse, and to pray every day.  She speaks truth and love into our woman hearts, and gives us practical tips for loving our husbands even on the most difficult of days.

I have seen too many people who are miserable in their marriages, and are unwilling to change their hearts or minds toward their spouse.  This is not what Jesus commanded of us.  He served us; He, the King of all days, served us -- even though we sinned, He died for us that we might respond to His mercy and love.  Marriage is a picture of that kind of love, displayed for all the world to see.  In her book, Darlene gives us blessed reminders about our high calling as wives.

An image that I love from that book is that a wife is a crown to her husband.  This is based off of Proverbs 12:4 - "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."  I want others to see my husband and call him blessed because he has a wife who seeks the Lord, honors her husband, and loves with her whole, uncompromised heart.  In the way that I serve God and my family, I am the crown.  I want to glisten in the light of the Son, letting everyone know that my husband has a virtuous wife...and not for my glory or for my husband's, but for God's glory.

Many married people are in the stage where they are irritated with their spouse, and just ready to give up.  They just want to make it through each day, willing only to put up with each other.  Affection is dwindling or lost, and instead of focusing on each other, they focus on work, their kids, their pets, and/or anything else but their spouse.  These marriages are buds that never open.  Sometimes we give up too soon.
Love is a Beautiful Thing

Darlene provides a challenge at the end of each chapter.  I believe that if each and every reader actually does these challenges with an open mind and vulnerable heart, they will see radical changes in their marriages.  The power of God mixed with a willing heart will change any circumstance.

Finally, I will say that it is a blessing from God to gain such wisdom from Darlene's book.  I am in the beginning of my marriage (almost two years!), and I am now equipped more than I ever thought possible.  I will be revisiting this book, especially as challenges arise.

Each day I am excited for this adventure of marriage -- with all of the messy, beautiful love.

Thank you, Darlene.

If you are a Christian wife, you should absolutely read this book.  It is real, it is engaging, it is practical, and it is heart-felt.  Don't wait.  Let God into your marriage right now.  You will be blessed.

Order here:

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To enter, comment below with one word or phrase that describes your ideal marriage (whether you're already married or not).  Thank you, dear Readers!

A Best Friend is a God Thing
I love this image!!  So true!