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christian marriage

Bless the Lord at ALL Times

FaithJessica Scheks1 Comment

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.| P s a l m  3 4 : 1 - 3 |

psalm 34

This is what has been on my heart lately. I've been learning that when you are doing what the Lord has called you to do in that particular moment and season, then you are worshiping Him! Even if it seems like a mundane task, if it is where He has called you to be, then you are in the center of His will.

Recently I've really been focusing on our marriage - praying for it, praying for my husband, praying for myself, and intentionally doing things to strengthen it. I'll admit that sometimes I "keep score" in our marriage (which is a big no-no!) Usually it's about the amount of household chores I've done compared to Michael. And the Lord has been slowly reshaping the way I feel about that. Generally I believe that the woman is supposed to do more of the cooking, cleaning, housework, etc. until I apply it to my own marriage. It sounds like a great, biblical idea when I think about it in general terms, but it's hard to practice what I preach in this case.

The first thing the Lord did in this area of my life was to just slightly shift my view of my husband. Literally one moment I was thinking about him and all of a sudden I was overcome with emotion about how he's such a hard worker to provide for us.To the point where I had to tell him how thankful I was right then and there. So I texted him, how much more romantic could it get? Michael truly works so hard at his job. He often works twelve, fourteen, or even sixteen hour shifts at the country club where he's been employed for nine years. And it's very physical -- running up and down steps all day long, constantly on his feet, lifting heavy things, and carrying huge trays of food. So when he comes home, he's exhausted. The thought of standing at the sink to do dishes, put away laundry, or take out the trash is probably much more miserable to him than I imagine it to be.

I used to think he was just lazy. But the truth is that he's tired in every sense of the word. He has to deal with demanding people all day, his boss is constantly criticizing him and causing issues throughout the day, and he literally doesn't sit down. So when he comes home, he wants a little peace and quiet and to just lay there for an hour or two. When I stop to really put myself in his shoes, I get it. And I don't blame him one bit.

So as the Lord was in the midst of trying to show me all of these things, Michael and I were preparing to go out of town for about a week to an "old fashioned camp meeting" at church. Just like every other week, he was working like crazy, he didn't have much time to prepare for the trip, and there was a lot to do! I kept reminding him to pick out shirts he wanted to take and to iron them. Fun fact: I loathe ironing men's dress shirts. So as the day we were scheduled to leave got closer and closer, it still wasn't happening. And I was biting my tongue about it, because who wants to be that naggy wife?

Well out of nowhere, the Lord popped a thought into my head. And I know it was Him, because I never would've come up with it by myself. Why don't I iron every single one of Michael's dress shirts?! I was out driving somewhere when the thought occurred and I literally got so excited about it! I couldn't wait to get home to iron his shirts. I was so ecstatic to surprise him when he came home from work to all of his shirts ironed so he could pick from an assortment of shirts of which ones to take with him on our trip. You'd have thought it was my first good idea ever.

I'm a perfectionist and Michael has a lot of dress shirts. So it took me over two hours, but as I was starting on the first shirt I felt so joyful! I felt like I was worshiping. And I realized that I was worshiping! It was a mundane task, but it was a mundane task that God called me to do, and I was doing it joyfully. So I listened to gospel music while I ironed for half of an eternity and I had to laugh to myself because there I was doing what I hate doing but loving it.

Sometimes God just works in the cutest ways!

We Are Not Above Anyone's Sin

FaithJessica Scheks3 Comments

A couple weeks ago I was driving home listening to Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. The topic immediately caught my interest as it was sort of a taboo topic to discuss in the Christian world and I had also just finished reading the novel And The Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers. (Which I highly recommend!)

{First let me preface this post by saying that this topic did not appeal to me because it is something I've gone through or have watched someone else go through. However, it is very intriguing to hear how other Christians have gotten through something so terrible.}

The topic was marital affairs. Jill Savage and her husband were on the show discussing the experience they endured and the steps they had taken to save their marriage afterwards. You can read their story here if you'd like, but I'm not going into too much detail about it in this post.

What left a lasting impression in my mind after listening to the program was something a caller had said. A woman called in to share her experience: Her husband had cheated on her, she was a Christian and he was a "Christian" (aka: He didn't walk the walk, but said he believed in God sort of thing). When she found out about the affair she was shocked and completely distraught; feeling like her world was caving in. Thankfully she had a solid group of Christian women who went through the experience with her - listening when she needed to talk and giving advice when she asked for it. She said the one piece of advice that helped her decide to try and fight for her marriage was short and simple, but it made a big enough of an impact on her that she chose to stay and work things out. Her friend simply told her:

"You are not above his sin." 

When she took that advice to heart and applied it to her marriage, it didn't mean that things instantly turned around. It was a huge struggle for her. But thankfully, upon being found out, her husband turned to Christ more than he ever had in the past. He turned his life over to God and repented and had a deep sorrow for what he had done to his wife. I can't imagine how much harder it would have been for her had he not.

But then she went on to say that she is now the thankful one that her husband stuck by her side because for two years she wasn't the easiest person to live with. She made life very hard for her husband, and looking back she couldn't believe he stayed through it all - which shows that he had a true salvation experience! It just amazed me to hear that as her and her husband started to get on the other side of this trial and she looked back over the experience, she began to realize how blessed she was that he stayed for the way she treated him on a daily basis.

Many callers also said that looking back, they wouldn't change what they had gone through now that they had mostly gotten past it... Which is a pretty powerful thing to say because no one would wish for an affair in their marriage.

The message I got from listening to this radio segment has really stuck in my mind the past few days as I interact with others. There hasn't been huge fights or drama-filled conversations, but even the little things that annoy me or when someone close to me does something I find to be extremely irritating, I have to remember that I AM NOT ABOVE THEIR SIN. The mere fact that I get so annoyed and irritated shows that I'm definitely not above their sin. And it's amazing how quickly you can forget that fact in the midst of something -- Lord help me not to forget! Fill my heart with love for those around me so that I can respond with compassion and glorify You in all that I do. I am reminded of the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians when I reflect on all of this because charity is so important; if I don't have charity I have nothing.

love//My photo was edited on VRSLY//

So even if an affair is not something you are going through, I would still encourage you to read Jill Savage's blog posts about how her and her husband worked to save their marriage. They just recently did a series titled "No More Perfect Marriages" where her and her husband took turns sharing about their experiences before, during, and after the affair they endured. I feel like it's a lesson to all Christians despite whether or not they've had to deal with an affair because it's very hard to love someone at their absolute worst -- especially when they've done something so painful towards you.