Monday, March 21, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:35

35 ​​Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
​​For I delight in it.

A delightful walk.

When Aries and I were first married, the Lord transplanted us out of Texas into a small agricultural town in eastern Colorado. It was an hour drive to the nearest Walmart, and 3 hours to the airport. Not exactly the big-city life we were accustomed to!

There really wasn’t much to do there - and the summer was rather mild - so we found ourselves walking a lot. To nowhere in particular, we’d simply stroll around the neighborhood. We’d look at houses, talk about the Lord, and we spent a lot of time getting to know each other. It is one of my favorite memories. It truly was a delight.

I marvel at the wisdom of the Lord in that time. Looking back, I realize now how vital it was for us to be removed from our respective families in order to form our own connection with each other - a deep bond beyond any other human relationship.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife Gen 2:24

And I also find a fascinating similarity between my marriage experience and the description of the early days of mankind:

And they [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day Gen 3:8

Isn’t that beautiful? God created you, and He simply wants to go for a walk with you in the cool of the day. To connect with you, to reveal Himself to you so you can get to know Him. And the path He wants to walk with you on is “the path of His commandments.”

I remember trying to walk my own path - being conformed to this world - when it came to women and relationships.

I remember my heart being broken, ripped out of my chest, when I was cheated on - time and time again. I remember not having enough self esteem to say “enough is enough” and thus continuing in destructive relationships for many years. I remember retaliating, creating an endless cycle of destruction.

And I remember the moment I found out that God had a plan for my life, which included who He wanted me to marry. Somewhere deep inside of me, I said, “I don’t care how long it takes, or what I have to do - I will find out who God wants me to marry, and I will marry her. I’m done doing relationships my way.”

And over the course of the following three years, the Lord took my hand, and led me step by step in His commandments. He walked with me. He corrected me when I veered off the path. He helped me pass my tests. Thank you Jesus.

One of the most significant paths He lead me on was to stop looking for a wife. He showed me that marriage was not man’s idea - it was God’s idea. He initiates it. When He instituted the marriage covenant, He put the man to sleep, and then,

Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22

So I “went to sleep” so to speak. I stopped chasing girls - which was a first for me in my entire life, and simply prayed, “Lord, please bring me my wife.”

I then shifted my focus to spending time with the Lord, getting to know Him.And in His time, in His way - He miraculously brought us together, and made it absolutely clear that it was His will for us to marry.

And though marriage hasn’t always been a bed of roses - I have grown in friendship, intimacy, trust and love with a woman of excellence - and I’ve experienced a peace beyond anything I had ever thought possible. And I can attest, by experience, that the ways of God’s wisdom (personified here as a woman) are:

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:17

And to my beautiful bride, I say,

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband Proverbs 12:4

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.