“I want to finish well. I want to be more in love with my husband after 50 years of marriage than I am now. I never want to sacrifice my relationship with him on the alter of ministry, work or anything else. I don’t want a ministry or child focused marriage, but a Jesus focused marriage.”
As soon as I read her words I stopped to soak them in. A “Jesus focused marriage.” Even though I’m single and am no where near being married, I was struck by her description. Everything within me desires for my marriage one day to be focused on Jesus. I want for my marriage to be rooted deep in Him. I want my marriage to grow with Him at the very core of our relationship. The more I love Christ, the better I’ll be able to love my husband. Like Jennifer, I want to be more in love with my husband with each year of marriage.
Such a relationship doesn’t come without work. It means guarding my marriage fiercely. It means investing in my husband every single day. It means the only thing he is second to is my relationship with Christ. It means that Jesus is the core of our marriage.
As I thought about how I could use the time now to better prepare for such a marriage, I was challenged with another thought. The best way I can prepare for a Jesus focused marriage is to have a Jesus focused life. It seems obvious, but how often I stray from this. I never want to sacrifice my relationship with Christ for anything else.
In many ways, I must guard my relationship with Him like I will my marriage one day. I can’t allow anything to sway my heart away from Him. Everything in my life flows from my relationship with Christ. He is my focus. Even though my passions flow from Him, I must be careful that I don’t become so caught up in these that I push away intimacy with Christ. My passion for teaching is the example that stands out the most. Although I know teaching is my ministry and will fill a large aspect of my life, I can’t allow this to become more important than abiding in Jesus.
I want to be more in love with Jesus in 50 years than I am now and this also doesn’t come without work. It takes intentionality in building a Jesus focused life. Every day I have a choice to respond to His invitation or not.
“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.” –Frederick Buechner
Today I choose to recognize Him. I choose to see Him in the early morning breeze. I choose to see Him while I walk to my classes. I choose to see Him when a stranger responds to my smile. I choose to see Him in the changing leaves. I choose to see Him while I’m at work. One day at a time I will work on building a Jesus focused life.