Sitting here in my favorite quiet corner of my home, early in the morning, I can see my collection of books. I love books. I love reading. I love learning. It makes me smile to look over at the shelves my husband made for me, nearly filled with books sharing bits of wisdom for life. Many of them are about marriage and family but no matter what the title they all have one thing in common. They are about knowing God. They are written by people most of whom are more educated than I am. They might be pastors or counselors, experts in their field, most with degrees behind their names. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few of them. I discovered that they are real people with a real desire to live with and for Christ, just like me. They have made choices in their lives. Choices which led to years of education and a lifetime of figuring out how to use that education to help others. I have benefited greatly from their endeavors, as have countless others I’m sure.
Then I turn slightly to my left and see the small group of shelves within arms reach.
It’s here that I keep my Bible(s), my journal, my current devotional book and a few other “key” books. They fit in a much smaller space. Over the past few months this verse has become very dear to me:
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God and more abundantly toward you.” 2 Corinthians 1:12
The words right in the middle just jumped out at me a few months ago, simplicity and godly sincerity….”(emphasis mine) By actual definition simplicity is the opposite of duplicity. It is focused, intentional. When it comes to marriage I have read alot of books, been to weekend retreats, trained by professionals to mentor others and even to train other marriage mentors. I’ve been married over 32 years now. So why do I allow my marriage relationship to be so complicated and sometimes frustrating? What’s the “key” to lifetime marriage? I’m going to be very bold here and give an answer. It’s simply making a decision, a decision to know and follow Christ. (period) To trust God at His word even in regard to my marriage. When I focus on knowing and following Christ I make the right relationship decisions. Deuteronomy 6:5 says “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Proverbs 3:6 says “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” That’s not complicated. When I intentionally focus on and trust Christ I can take a deep breath. I have peace. I’m not always scrambling for the next book to read, “right” thing to do, say or be to make my marriage work. I trust God to make it work. I just need to do what I already know. It’s not always easy but it’s really quite simple.
What about you? How can you “simplify” your marriage relationship?