pastors marrying us have been married 34 years. Our head pastors have been married 42 years and friends of ours have been married 47 years. Those are incredible numbers! Especially for this day and age!
Marriage is a celebration and commitment to love. But successful marriages involve a huge amount of submission (a word too often misconstrued and feared) and forgiveness. It's not about what I can get from it, it's about what I can give to it. It's about losing my selfishness, my ego and my pride for the sake of the other. And it's about him doing the same thing.
In our vows we are going to be declaring our lives to each other. We aren't in this until the road gets rough or someone's feelings get hurt... We are in this until the end. We are exchanging our lives for one another. Because to us, the price is worth it. We value each other enough to die to self each day.
And that's pretty much how God saw us, you and me, when He sent His son to save us from ourselves. He died to self. He put us first. He gave us a saviour because we couldn't save ourselves. (See John 3:16).
What price are you paying for your guilt, shame and resentment? What price are you paying for those you 'say' you love? Don't look around and make excuses with "well, they did 'this' or 'that' to me"!! The days of 'an eye for an eye' died with Jesus my friend! You were and are given a way out of all that stuff... there are no more valid excuses... Sorry!
I will guarantee that you're exchanging your own joy and freedom for resentments, refusing to forgive others and building walls - not boundaries, but walls! You are so fortified that it would take a miracle to make a dent. That is the price you are paying and the life you are exchanging to hold on to crap from the past that you can no longer change.
How can I say such a thing? Because we ALL do it to some degree. Remember... Not one of us is perfect.
Life happens inside of us. Circumstances happen outside. Once you get free inside, outside circumstances lose ALL their power and can't control you. It's so cool!!!
What are you exchanging your life for REALLY?