“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV)
I saw on Facebook approximately one month ago that a woman posted her wedding picture and then a picture of her and her husband “today” on their anniversary. Her caption read, “I really love this man!” Her love of her husband on their wedding day was evident in her eyes, but the look they had for each other in the “today” picture spoke volumes. It held a deeper love – one borne from sharing years of marriage. It was more authentic than the “starry eyed” love on their wedding day. Even though their physical bodies had changed, the love they felt for one another was felt on a greater level than looks.
Thinking about my own marriage, fourteen years this year, I can relate. When you are privileged to share your life with someone intimately, getting to know their dreams, thoughts, feelings, building a family together, working side by side on common goals, and sharing pain, joy, and excitement, those instances are what build a relationship
That thought brought me to Jesus and my relationship with Him. When I first because a Christian, I was “in love” with God, but it was new and unfamiliar. I didn’t know much about Him and was excited for the journey. Thirty four years later, Jesus and I have been through a lot. Some really great times, and other times that have brought me to my knees in complete despair. Through it all, though, I have developed a much closer relationship with my Savior.
One wonderful difference between a relationship with God versus my husband – I’m the only one who changes. God never changes. I can trust His promises in the Bible to stay the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As I change in my relationship with God, I draw closer to Him and see more of who He really is. The more I learn about Him, the more I love Him. The more I love Him, the more I am able to love others. I naturally reach out more to those who are hurting, rejoice with those who are happy, and come alongside and help those God places on my heart. I’m more able to see others the way Christ sees them instead of through my own imperfect lens. My relationship, therefore, with my husband, children, and extended family and friends will only grow stronger when life becomes less about me and more about reaching out as Jesus does.
My prayer is when people see a picture of me, they see Christ shining through me more than they see a reflection of myself. They hear the excitement in my voice when I talk about my Heavenly Father and all the wonderful things I’m learning about him that others can experience for themselves too. The next time I say, “I really love that man,” I hope people have to stop to figure out if I’m talking about my handsome husband or my amazing Savior.
Copyright 2013: Cheri Swalwell