Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Faded Roses

We recently celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. The morning of our anniversary I woke to find a dozen gorgeous roses and a card on my dresser. We had said we would celebrate the following week because of work, sermon prep and travel schedules on my husband's plate the week of our anniversary. So I was quite surprised to wake to the flowers and card. Also I had postponed my plans for him, except for dinner, until the next week. We celebrated that night with a delicious BBQ salmon dinner and broke out our china and goblets for the first time since moving to Colorado. We did celebrate more this week when Joel took Friday off and we took a day trip exploring the nearby mountains with a late dinner on the way home.

I woke to these on our anniversary

The roses were so beautiful with vibrant hues like a sunset. I thoroughly enjoyed visually soaking up their colors, textures and shapes. The way they contrasted with the cobalt blue and white pitcher I placed them in was breathtaking. Each day they opened more and more. But by day four they started looking beyond their prime and by day five they were drooping and withering.

I am so glad our love is not like those roses, flame bright and flamboyant, but in a few days fading, drooping, wilting - dead.

       Wilted and faded by day five

Because of Christ in us, we are able to love each other through good times and bad, in sickness and health and in the midst of any circumstances. Sure there are days where the bloom of our love temporarily wilts a bit. Days where one of us has our eyes on self and our wants, needs or expectations rather than on loving God and our neighbors as ourselves.

12 Put on then as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Colossians 3:12-13

John Piper in his book "This Momentary Marriage" has this to say about the passage in Colossians 3:12-13. "As the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive your spouse, As the Lord "bears with you", so you should bear with your spouse. The Lord "bears with us" every day as we fall short of His will. Indeed the distance between what Christ expects of us and what we achieve is infinitely greater than the distance between what we expect of our spouse and what he or she achieves. Christ always forgives more and endures more than we do. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Bear with as He bears with you...Let the measure of God's grace to you in the cross of Christ be the measure of your grace to your spouse.

Piper goes on to say, "In other words, Colossians 3:12-13 says, take the vertical grace of forgiveness and justification and bend them horizontally to your spouse. Marriage is meant to be a unique matrix for this display of grace. This is what marriage is for ultimately - the display of Christ's covenant keeping grace."

Wow! It is SO convicting to think how many times I have failed to extend as much grace to my spouse as Christ has extended to me. 

So while the roses quickly fade, our marriages when based on God's grace and love will continually blossom. Fresh flowers of daily grace are available to us and our marriages from our generous and loving God. Let's pray we may all extend grace to our spouses in the manner our Lord has extended grace to each of us.

Grace and blessings,


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