Valentines day is over. Lots of people are saying “Great!” Others like me, take a deep sigh. It was a busy weekend. We helped with and attended a short marriage enrichment Friday night and Saturday morning led by our friends Mike and LeeAnn Hartwig. It was a good time. It was a fun time. It was a challenging time. The challenge is what do we want to do with what we learned? And yes, we learned. That’s the 2nd thing I’m thankful for today. The first thing is that I have a husband that was not only willing but wanted to go. We both believe in investing in our marriage. Date nights, two chair time, reading together while we travel and yes a weekend periodically dedicated to us. But now the rubber meets the road, what are we going to do with what we learned? We could tuck it away in our mind “for future reference”, you know, when we really need it. Or we could keep it handy for the couples that reach out to us with marital questions, it could be very helpful, you know, for them. Or we could ponder it for awhile, asking God to show us how to apply it to our own life. BINGO! The 3rd thing I’m thankful for this morning is that my husband and I agree there is no point in learning about relationships if you are not going to learn to live it out, apply it to life.
Paul Tripp said it this way in early January of this year – (emphasis mine)
“It’s that time of year again – time to ring in the New Year with dramatic resolutions fueled by the hope of immediate and significant personal life change.
Let’s be honest. The reality is that few smokers actually quit because of a single moment of resolve. Few obese people become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment. Few people deeply in debt change their financial lifestyle because they resolve to do so as the old year gives way to the new. Few marriages change by the means of one dramatic resolution.
Is change important? Yes, it is for all of us in some way. Is commitment essential? Of course! There’s a way in which all our lives are shaped by the commitments we make. But biblical Christianity – which has the gospel of Jesus Christ at its heart – simply doesn’t rest its hope in big, dramatic moments of change.
The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. And where do we live? We all have the same address – the utterly mundane.
I don’t want to discourage you from making a resolution or tell you to throw away what you’ve already written, but I do want to challenge your way of thinking. You see, the character of your life won’t be established in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. Your legacy will be shaped more by the 10,000 little decisions you make in 2014 rather than the last-minute resolution you’re about to make.
Yes, you and I need to be committed to change in 2014, but not in a way that hopes for a big event of transformation, but in a way that finds joy in and is faithful to a day-by-day, step-by-step process of insight, confession, repentance and faith.
You were either encouraged or discourage this weekend with the love in your life. What one choice, just one choice today, will you make today to improve your relationship? Today I chose to notice the hard work my husband does to make a living for us.