Two months after Wynter died suddenly in my arms on July 24, 2018, I uttered these words to my counselor as I thought about my gratitude for the 15 years of marriage we fought for with deference and honor:
“It wasn’t perfect, but it was intentional.”
It was my thank you to the Lord for His goodness and grace in allowing us to discern what was needed for us to grow as individuals and as a couple. It was a cry of joy, first for the time we were able to spend together and second for the life we had built.
I cried as I remembered what we had and began to process what I’d lost. But I didn’t do so with regret or with sadness for a job incomplete. There was no distress over missed opportunity. No turmoil over a job undone. As sad as I was and as much pain as I still experience, my countenance is one of a victor, not a victim.
Because we won!
I am not saying our marriage was perfect. That is far from the truth. We fought daily for unity and peace in our home.
Fight is a funny word, but that’s exactly what it was. A fight. The weapons we chose in each and every moment were not the ones that came naturally.
We chose to empty ourselves of the weapons of our human nature so the Holy Spirit could fill us with the tools that would help us win.
Naturally, it would be easy for us to be indifferent towards each other’s needs.
But when we chose to replace our indifference with love, we were choosing to fight in order to win.
The Jewish Holocaust survivor, Ellie Wiesel once said “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
The world says, “Do you.” “You are what matters.” But God says,
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” Romans 12:10 (NLT).
It wasn’t easy to have genuine affection as we fought our selfish desires, but daily picking up the weapon of love built a relationship of trust and a sense of loyalty that guided our years and directed our future.
It wasn’t a one-time decision, but something we grew into, one day at a time and one choice at a time—imperfectly but consistently. Love looks like moving from selfishness and indifference toward genuine care and a willingness to put each other ahead of yourself.
Today, I pray that your marriage will look like that. Like love.
I pray that today you will choose to begin laying down the weapons of this world in order to wield the weapons of a whole other realm.
Father, thank you for the victory found in emptying ourselves of the weapons of this world that are not of You. May Your example of laying down Your life be an inspiration for us to do the same. And may Your power give us the strength to pick up the weapons to win and declare victory in our marriages.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
‘ Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; ‘ Romans 12:9-10
LIVING POURED-OUT TODAY
- What unhealthy tendency do you naturally fall back on in your relationship? What spiritual weapon can you replace it with to strengthen your marriage?
- Think of one sacrifice your spouse has made for you this week and specifically thank them for it.
- Pick one act of love you can show your spouse this week. Be the one to make coffee in the morning, scrape ice off the windshield of their car, take charge of bedtime routine, schedule one-on-one time, leave encouraging notes where they will find them throughout the day.