Growing Wiser in the Waiting: Engaging in the Engagement

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6/26
Day 76

“No sacrifice, no victory.”
~Witwiki Motto (Transformers)

6/25
Day 75

“The love and affirmation of your spouse has the power to heal you of many of the deepest wounds. Why? If all the world says you are ugly, but your spouse says you are beautiful, you feel beautiful.”
~Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage”

6/25
Day 74

“The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards.”
~Sam Gamgee, Lord of the Rings

6/24
Day 73

This is the “litmus test” of love. If someone truly loves you…

1. They will give to you even when you are in no position to repay.

When you do good for those who can do good for you, that’s not love; that’s networking! Love requires giving to someone with no thought of how it might be repaid. Love can never be repaid. Love can only be freely given and freely received.

2. They will work to heal your old wounds and protect you from new wounds.

If you love someone, you must be the one who wipes away their tears, not the one who causes them! Love promotes healing for the past, peace for the present and protection for the future.

3. They will accept you at your worst while helping you become your best.

If someone really loves you, they won’t try to change you, but they also won’t let you settle for anything less that all God created you to be. Real love means being completely committed to someone even when they are being completely unlovable. If someone really loves you, they’ll believe in you even in those moments when you struggle to believe in yourself.

4. They will NEVER give up on you!

Love is rooted in commitment, not convenience. Love is a choice, not a feeling. If someone really loves you, their commitment to you will endure through any circumstances life throws your way.
~From davewillis.org, 4 ways to know when someone really loves you

6/23
Day 72

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
~Hebrews 3:13

6/22
Day 71

“…the great thing about the model of Christian marriage…is that when you envision the “someone better,” you can think of the future version of the person to whom you are already married. The someone better is the spouse you already have. God has indeed given us the desire for the perfect spouse, but you should seek it in the one to whom you’re married.”
~Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

6/21
Day 70

“Marriage shows you a realistic, unflattering picture of who you are and then takes you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to pay attention to it.”…”Give your spouse the right to talk to you about what is wrong with you. Paul talks about how Jesus “washes” and “cleanses” us of stains and blemishes. Give your spouse the right to do that.”
~Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

6/20
Day 69

“Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask?”…”But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.”
~Søren Kierkegaard

6/19
Day 68

“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
Ephesians 4:15

6/18
Day 67

“We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.”
~Stanley Hauerwas

6/17
Day 66

“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”
~Zig Ziglar

6/16
Day 65

“God intends and expects marriage to be a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman, based on the principles of biblical love. The relationship between Jesus Christ and His church is the supreme example of the committed love that a husband and wife are to follow in their relationship with each other.”
~John C. Broger

6/15
Day 64

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Genesis 2:24

6/14
Day 63

“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”
Proverbs 25:24

6/13
Day 62

“Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:8

6/12
Day 61

“Love always perseveres.” (NASB-Love endures all things.”)
1 Corinthians 13:7

6/11
Day 60

“Love always hopes…”
1 Corinthians 13:7

6/10
Day 59

“Love always trusts…”
1 Corinthians 13:7

6/9
Day 58

“Love always protects…” (NASB-“Love bears/covers all things”)
1 Corinthians 13:7

6/8
Day 57

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
1 Corinthians 13:6

6/7
Day 56

“Love keeps no record of wrongs…”
1 Corinthians 13:5

6/6
Day 55

“Love is not easily angered (NASB-is not provoked)”
1 Corinthians 13:5

6/5
Day 54

“Love is not self-seeking…”
1 Corinthians 13:5

6/4
Day 53

1 Corinthians 11:11-12
“11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”

6/3
Day 52

“Jesus’ teaching in general [implies] that happy and fulfilling sexual relations in marriage depend on each partner aiming to give satisfaction to the other. If it is the joy of each to make the other happy, a hundred problems will be solved before they happen.”
~John Piper

6/2
Day 51

“There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.”
~Martin Luther

6/1
Day 50

“God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.”
~ Max Lucado

5/31
Day 49

“Within this Christian view for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to His throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!'”

~Timothy Keller, “The Meaning of Marriage”

5/30
Day 48

“Love does not act unbecomingly…”
1 Corinthians 13:5

So what does this mean?
The biblical definition for “unbecomingly” is to “behave (one’s) self uncomely, to behave (one’s) self unseemly”.
“Uncomely” is “indecent: not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society”
This tells me that loving someone well does not just include the way that we behave towards that person, but also how we behave around other people as well.  The way that we dress, the things that we say, the way we react in a tough situation…the list could go on. When we are acting in an “indecent” or “improper” way, we are not showing love to our spouse… family…friends… and ultimately, we are not showing love to God.

I am reminded of the verse in 1 Peter 3:4 that says “…let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

5/29
Day 47

If men and women did marriage God’s way, the way that he created it to be, things wouldn’t be so messed up and upside-down!

1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-9
“3. But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God…
7. …he (the man) is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.
8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;
9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.”

The key is resting in and fulfilling our God-given role through the help and work of the Holy Spirit.

5/28
Day 46

“What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us. The common horizon husband and wife look toward us the Throne, and the holy, spotless, and blameless nature we will have.”

~Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

5/27
Day 45

“I want my marriage to be like the earth, full of life and revolving around the Son.”
~Jennifer Smith

5/26
Day 44

1 Corinthians 16:13-14
“Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

5/25
Day 43

“Friendship is a deep oneness that develops when two people, speaking the truth in love to one another, journey together to the same horizon.”

~Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

5/24
Day 42

“[Spiritual friendship] is eagerly helping one another know, serve, love, and resemble God in deeper and deeper ways.”

~Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

5/23
Day 41

“Love is not arrogant…”
From 1 Corinthians 13:4

arrogant
ar-uh-guhnt
adjective
1. making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud
2. characterized by or proceeding from arrogance, or a sense of superiority, self-importance, or entitlement: arrogant claims.

5/22
Day 40

“Love does not boast…”
From 1 Corinthians 13:4.

Boast
bōst/
verb
1. talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.

synonyms: brag, crow, swagger, swank, gloat, show off; exaggerate, overstate

5/21
Day 39

“The man who sanctifies his wife understands that this is his divinely ordained responsibility… Is my wife more like Christ because she is married to me? Or is she like Christ in spite of me? Has she shrunk from His likeness because of me? Do I sanctify her or hold her back? Is she a better woman because she is married to me?”

~ R. Kent Hughes ~

5/20
Day 38

“We [should not] make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we all hunger. To assume so would be to be guilty of blasphemy. Only God satisfies the hungry heart. Marriage is but one of the channels He uses to enable us to taste how deeply satisfying His thirst-quenching grace can be.”

~ Sinclair B. Ferguson ~

5/19
Day 37

Excerpt from prayer for husband and wife from Book of Common Prayer~

(Part 3)
“Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness and Yours.”
Amen.

5/18
Day 36

Excerpt from prayer for husband and wife from Book of Common Prayer~

(Part 2)
“Grant that their wills may be so knit together in Your will, and their spirits in Your Spirit, that they may grow in love and peace with You and one another all the days of their life. Amen.

5/17
Day 35

Excerpt from prayer for husband and wife from Book of Common Prayer~

(Part 1)
“Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. Amen.

5/16
Day 34

“Love me when I least deserve it because that is when I really need it.”
~Swedish Proverb

Hmm…makes me think of the perfect example of Love~

Romans 5:8…
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

5/15
Day 33 (100 days to go!!!)

Love is not jealous.
From 1 Corinthians 13:4.

jeal·ous
ˈjeləs/
adjective

1. feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

synonyms: envious, covetous, desirous; resentful, grudging, begrudging, green (with envy)

2. feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship.

synonyms: suspicious, distrustful, mistrustful, doubting, insecure, anxious; possessive, overprotective

“i. Is envy a small sin? Envy murdered Abel (Genesis 4:3-8). Envy enslaved Joseph (Genesis 37:11, 28). Envy put Jesus on the cross: For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy (Matthew 27:18).”

(~From commentary by David Guzik in the Blue Letter Bible)

5/14
Day 32

“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.”
~Barnett R. Brickner

5/13
Day 31

“[W]hen you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

5/12
Day 30

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
~Henry Van Dyke

5/11
Day 29

In any relationship, there will be frightening spells in which your feelings of love dry up. And when that happens you must remember that the essence of marriage is that it is a covenant, a commitment, a promise of future love. So what do you do? You do the acts of love, despite your lack of feeling. You may not feel tender, sympathetic, and eager to please, but in your actions you must BE tender, understanding, forgiving and helpful. And, if you do that, as time goes on you will not only get through the dry spells, but they will become less frequent and deep, and you will become more constant in your feelings. This is what can happen if you decide to love.
~Timothy Keller~

5/10
Day 28

The wonder of marriage is woven into the wonder of the gospel of the cross of Christ, and the message of the cross is foolishness to the natural man, and so the meaning of marriage is foolishness to the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14).

~ John Piper ~

5/9
Day 27

Proverbs 31:10-12
“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.”

5/8
Day 26

Love is NOT unkind.

un·kind
ˌənˈkīnd/
adjective

inconsiderate and harsh to others.

synonyms: uncharitable, unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, mean, mean-spirited, cruel, vindictive, vicious, spiteful, malicious, callous, unsympathetic, unfeeling, uncaring, unsparing, hurtful, ill-natured, hard-hearted, cold-hearted; unfriendly, uncivil, inconsiderate, insensitive, hostile

5/7
Day 25

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5/6
Day 24

“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.” ~Timothy Keller

5/5
Day 23

Psalm 17:22a
“A joyful heart is good medicine…”

Joy is part of the fruit of the Spirit!
(Eph 5:22)

So, in order to have joy, we cannot look to spouse…friend…circumstances…chocolate…or wine… ;)…but we must be filled with the Spirit!! (Eph 5:18)

Once we realize that “In Your presence is FULLNESS of joy” (Psalm 16:11), we will no longer look to any human (or anything else) to give us that “fullness”!! How freeing that is, for us, and for those around us!! Not only will we be full of joy, but our joyful hearts will also be “good medicine”.

5/4
Day 22

Proverbs 17:17a
“A friend loves at all times…”

5/3
Day 21

“While marriage is many things, it is anything but sentimental. Marriage is glorious but hard. It’s a burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats and exhausting victories.”
~Tim Keller, from The Meaning of Marriage

5/2
Day 20

Ephesians 4:2-3
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

In these verses we are reminded (IF we are a follower of Christ with His Spirit living inside of us), to KEEP the unity of the Spirit. We do not CREATE unity on our own, because the Spirit is the Unifier! We are told to “…make every effort to KEEP the unity of the Spirit…”
“Make every effort” reminds us that it’s not always going to be a piece of cake!!

Effort defined is…”a vigorous or determined attempt…strenuous physical or mental exertion.”
Synonyms of effort are “exertion, energy, work, endeavor, application, labor, power, muscle, toil, strain”.

Yikes.
IT IS WORK, and the ONLY way to preserve the unity…in marriage, churches, friendships…is to cling to the Word of God and constantly die to self and empty ourselves of…ourselves, then pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us up until we are overflowing with His Presence!! We cannot have unity without Him. He is the glue. “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17.

5/1
Day 19

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

4/30
Day 18

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

4/29
Day 17

What a cool quote this is!! Why didn’t I think of it?!!

“As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.”

~ Thomas Adams ~

4/28
Day 16

1 Corinthians 13:4
“Love is kind…”

kīnd
1. Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature.
2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable: a kind word.
3. considerate
4. Forbearing; tolerant: Our neighbor was very kind about the window we broke.
5. Generous; liberal: kind words of praise.
6. Agreeable; beneficial

“Kindness makes the difference between passion and caring…Kindness says, ‘I want you to be happy.’ ”

~Randolph Ray~

4/27
Day 15

“When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.”

~ C. S. Lewis ~

Day 14

Husbands and wives, recognize that in marriage you have become one flesh. If you live for your private pleasure at the expense of your spouse, you are living against yourself and destroying your joy. But if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and His church.

~ John Piper ~

4/25/14

Day 13:If “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4), that would imply that love is NOT impatient. Sometimes (for me at least), it helps to flip a statement around!
So today’s “quote” is “love is NOT impatient”!!im·pa·tient
adjective:
1. having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provoked.
synonyms: irritated, annoyed, angry, testy, tetchy, snappy, cross, querulous, peevish, piqued, short-tempered

Ooof, that’s a toughy.
Just don’t pray for more patience!! That is praying for situations in which you will get to practice that patience! Just ask for help from our Helper, (the Holy Spirit)!!
Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”

Patience is, after all, part of the fruit produced by Him!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

And since I fell asleep before I did yesterday’s…
Day 12:

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self.

~ William Penn ~

4/23/14

Day 11:
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.

~Timothy Keller~

4/22/14
Day 10:
“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

~ G. K. Chesterton ~

4/21/14
Day 9:
(I love verse 14 that says “put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity!” Love binds together!! )

Colossians 3:12-15
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

4/20/14
Day 8:
From The Book of Common Prayer:
“Because in the love of wife and husband, thou hast given us an image of the heavenly Jerusalem, adorned as a bride for her bridegroom, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who loveth her and gave himself up for her, that He might make the whole creation new.”

4/19/14
Day 7: “Love is patient…”
1 Corinthians 13:4a

There’s more to this verse, but today I’ve paused on patience, and have been pondering what it means. It’s a very deep subject!! So excited about some things I’ve discovered!! More on that another day…

pa·tient
1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

4/18/14
Day 6: “I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable.”

~ G. K. Chesterton ~

4/17/14
Day 5: Love as distinct from ‘being in love’ is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.

~ C. S. Lewis ~

4/16/14
Day 4: “Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame” ~Henry David Thoreau

4/15/14
Day 3: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

4/14/14
Day 2: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” Colossians 1:17

4/13/14
Day 1: “Will you marry me?!”
~Guy
(That was the quote for the first day! 😉 )

The longer I walk through life, the more life feels like a “sprint”, rather than a “walk”. It used to be that I would look forward to an event in the future so much that I would wish my time away, and miss the whole “growth” period. Now, I realize that being patient and savoring the waiting time is such an important thing to do.

Anticipation is a sweet thing to savor, and growing while anticipating is even sweeter. Think about how much better fruit tastes when it’s perfectly ripe! If we use our “ripening” time to focus on growing, our “fruit” will be that much closer to what God intended it to look like.

So, all of this to say, I am fully committed to “engaging in the engagement”!! I want to savor every moment and grow as much as possible. The morning after Guy proposed, I was having my quiet time, and the Holy Spirit whispered a challenge into my heart! That was, to seek out a verse, quote, or words of advice in regards to marriage, every day prior to us getting married. I’m going to post daily under this same blog title with each nugget of wisdom that I find, and if anyone wants to comment, share scripture, quotes, words of advice, etc, please do!! I can’t wait to hear from you!!

God Bless!
~Nicole

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