I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of days and away from my blog even longer. I return to both with many thoughts from the past few days swirling in my mind. I’m working through a book called “The five lies that ruin relationships” written by Chip Ingram and thinking how on target it is concerning the “things” that pull us away from each other instead of bringing us together. It is overwhelming, really, to recognize how many messages we receive from the world around us that are untrue and if we allow ourselves to be persuaded by them they are destructive to our relationships.
The home seems to be a prime target for destruction from much of what is being sold. Whether marriages or parent-child relationships, friendships or other unions, those things that cause division are readily available to us. Within the past week I’ve heard things that broke my heart and burdened my mind. People are seeking, both young and old, fulfillment from illusory things that will only satisfy for a short time if at all, and will cost for a very long time, maybe even forever.
We all know it takes food, clothing, and shelter for survival in the world, but look at what all else we toil and strive for that once obtained becomes just other things to worry over. And what about our relationships? Are they burdensome or fulfilling? Do we blame the other party for our discontent or do we examine our own hearts to find the reason for our lack of “love.”
I don’t watch much television anymore, but for many years I watched it far too much, daily for at least a couple of hours each day. As I pour back over what I saw then and what I’m sure is still being peddled, I recognize a monumental issue of which we all must be aware in order to preserve truth in our own hearts.
We are given an image of true love that is false. People are forever falling in love and falling out of love, we are told and shown again and again, when in reality it is not love at all that is elusive or fickle or temporary. Lust and the passions that it carries is alluring, tempting and deceitful. It carries the mind away, sweeping us into a fairytale land where princes ride in on white horses and rescue us girls from whatever peril, whether real or imagined, we face. We are encouraged to believe this romantic bliss, this “happily ever after” is true and that we can expect to remain in a state of wedded bliss and be courted by our husbands forever. When put in such a childlike manner, most of us deny we have such ideas, but in reality I think most of us either have thought or do think on this line.
Hear me well, I believe marriage is supposed to last and genuine love does last for a lifetime, but it is a far different experience than the one we find on the big, or the little, screen or within the pages of a romance novel. Lasting love is built, day by day, as a result of commitment and sincere hearts. It withstands the dry times when one or the other, maybe even both partners are struggling. It forgives and it hopes. The main thing is, it doesn’t quit.
I am a person who married young and divorced young, so instead of feeling like I should keep quiet on this subject, I feel the opposite. I’ve grown up and learned so much and I’m blessed to be married now, for 15 years, and we are still daily building our lives together. The togetherness is a wonderful thing. The fact that we don’t forget each other and pursue separate paths, that we hold on through the storms, that we forgive after one or both of us fails the other, these are the markers of lasting love.
Sweet gestures, kind words, loving hugs, encouragement, and endurance…these are the jewels of lasting love. Being a friend to our mate is so important. Realizing that even our life partner cannot meet our deepest needs is necessary. When I got to the point of realizing that only the Lord could truly fulfill and sustain me, I released my husband of a responsibility that did not belong to him and an expectation he could never meet. A person, a job, money, none of those things can sustain and fulfill us over time; we only find lasting contentment in the Lord.
I well remember times when I truly thought “the right person” could complete me, an education and a career could fulfill me, a nice home and nice things would make me “happy.” I’m a little embarrassed to admit all of this, but the truth always matters and hopefully someone will read this that needs to make an adjustment in their expectations in order to find peace.
I have done a lot of searching, so much struggling, and now I’m daily aware of what really matters. Sometimes we have exactly what we are looking for and we are unable to see it, we need to pull truth into focus. Amazing how it happens…it occurs sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, as our minds happen upon a thought that brings clarity and peace. Other times we read or hear a message that illuminates a truth we’ve been missing. And sometimes it comes when we find God’s Word speaking right into our souls as we read.
Two scriptures that have had a profound impact on me are as follows:
Psalm 90:14 “Oh satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Only when we look to our Heavenly Father, the very One who created us, to our Savior Jesus who redeemed us, will we find lasting satisfaction and peace. Think about it. The fleeting and fading will always flee and fade, but the eternal holds true for all time…a wonderful thought.