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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stand up!

Recently I have been thinking about the things that I am thankful for. It seems that each time I go to pray I have this overwhelming sense of thankfulness for my husband. Unfortunately it has not always been this way. Let me tell you why.

See when we first met I thought he was the BIGGEST nerd I had ever laid eyes on. (none of this is new to him so don't think I am bashing him... we laugh about this now.) Steve is a structural engineer. That should explain a lot. He was also a huge penny pincher and would not buy himself something new if his life depended on it. He drove this really old, white Toyota that he parked under a tree at work and the paint job on it was just... yuck! His clothes were out of style and he was just kind of.. outdated. He worked hard, and he was very serious minded about his responsibilities.

I, on the other hand, drove a shiny new red sports car. I was a school teacher so I didn't make a ton of money, but as soon as my bills were paid I hit the mall. New clothes were my passion and I loved the fad fashions. I would get out of school around 2:30, go home and take a nap and shower so that I would have all kinds of energy for the evening.

You may be asking yourself, "If he was that bad, and they were THAT opposite, why did she marry him?" (Sometimes I ask why he married ME!?)

He was (and is) a man of conviction. See, he was the first guy that I had ever met that did not try to change for me. Now that may seem weird, but hear me out.

If I picked on him about his car he would say, "It's paid for and I can save money the longer I drive it. How long do you have to pay on that new red thing?"

Or if I made a comment about his clothes he would say, "Well, when someone helps me pick something out that I really like I will wear it, but I will not spend money just to spend it."

Sometimes there would be a movie that I really wanted to see, but it would be rated "R". He would say, "It is fine with me if you go, but I won't be the one taking you. I told the Lord a long time ago that I would not go to rated "R" movies so you will have to go without me."

You see Steve would not let my lack of conviction change his strong convictions in the least. If I used a word that he didn't like (and it wasn't a cuss word either) he would call me out. If I confronted someone in an ungodly manner he would question my intentions. We did sometimes argue about things because we were so different, but I began to see that he wanted the best for my life. He was (and is ) a man after God's own heart and if I was going to date him then I had to step up my game.

Sometimes I wonder about the church. People within the church still act like the world in so many ways. I know that there are standards that are preached and scripture that is read weekly that help us understand God's plan for us, but I still hear about drinking, gambling and affairs on a regular basis. I really DO NOT understand!!

We say that we want our world to change, and yet if we are not willing to change how can we expect others, who don't even know God to change? We say that we want our kids to be Christians and follow hard after Christ, but if they do not see us doing that how can we expect them to?

It is much like me dating Steve. Once I saw the authentic life that he lived, I wanted it too! I wanted the peace that he had. I wanted the relationship with Jesus that he had and I wanted to live what I said I believed instead of being a hypocrite.. which is what I was when we started dating! I could only improve my life by being with him. He was a man that was not going to compromise for any one and I wanted that kind of marriage!

Until the world sees the authentic life of the church it will have nothing to strive for. Our lost friends will see us as people who say we are Christians and go to church, but who still live a drinking, gambling, affair ridden life. What is the difference?

Really the reason that I married Steve was Jesus. It was not his nerdy clothes and nerdy car. (shock, huh?) It was that he lived Jesus in front of me and I wanted to MARRY Jesus!!!!!!! (Of course Steve isn't Jesus... you know what I mean!) His life made me want a life like that...

So what about me makes the world want a life like mine? How do I take a stand and not compromise? How do I challenge those around me to see me as different? How do I challenge my daughter to follow hard after Christ instead of the emptiness that this world offers?

Lord, please help us to take a stand. Help me to be willing to go against this culture and to not allow satan to have one inch in my life, my marriage or my home. Please help us, the church, to live our convictions and not give in to the slightest temptation just so we can impress others. Help us to live solely for You and help us to challenge others to a life of holiness. We will not receive the blessings that You have in store for us until we are willing to be sold out for you. Help us to realize Your plan and to be obedient to follow it. Convict our hearts Lord. Amen!

1 comments:

Valarie said...

I told you a long time ago Steve was MY hero too!! hahaha

Speak a word girl! Speak a word!!