‘Til Death Do Us Part

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I may have shared with you in a previous blog that I am an identical twin.  There were more than a few challenges growing up.  Early in my childhood I only remember that I had a close friend in my brother and he looked just like me.  With the exception of the arguing that sometimes follows any relationship, we were constant companions and I enjoyed that.  And I think my brother enjoyed it as much as I did.

We had the same friends.  We had the same boundaries that mom and dad set.  We were extremely blessed.  This particular relationship as a child determined my happiness.  But we don’t remain as children.  And that caused some challenges.

I guess the biggest challenge came when we were about to enter into Middle School.  The season changed you might say.  My brother was not my closest friend anymore.  He was just my twin brother.  We didn’t share too many things any longer.  We didn’t have the same likes and dislikes.  And our daily boundaries changed as we finished Middle School and entered High School.

I started this blog with a short background of my early years as to lay the groundwork for relationships.  As a child, I didn’t know there would be “other” relationships down the road, nor did I realize there would be change that would affect me for the rest of my life.

In 1977, I married a woman and friend from my high school days.  We were happy and were blessed by two lovely kids together.  But as time went along, the relationship changed.  We both had fulfilled our adult dreams of a house, two children, two good jobs, and two cars.  We were the typical American family.  We became bored with everything we had amassed.  We dearly loved our children, but as man and wife, we lost our love for one another.   Our relationship ended in divorce.  Marriage did not create our problems.  Marriage revealed them.  Marriage simply magnified what was already a problem in me that went masked when I was living as a single adult.

In thinking about how I would put this blog together about awesome relationships, I knew there were three relationships that affected me so much that my life would never be the same. I need to write about each one.

In my divorce I realized relationships determined my happiness as well as my sorrow.  There is nothing that can relieve the sting of a conflicted relationship nor the wounds of a hurtful one.  There were influential forces around me like culture, economic pressures, and even spiritual hosts of wickedness that were attacking me and my wife.  What I didn’t understand was almost nothing in society today supported us building a healthy, godly relationship.

In the second relationship, I learned later after I was divorced for one year that I needed the one and only piece of the puzzle that I didn’t have.  That piece was the Cross of Calvary.  I needed Jesus in my life as my Lord and Savior.  I needed a relationship that would never end.  This relationship would affect my life in the most profound way.  Jesus would forgive me of all of my sins.  He would help me understand the true meaning of love.  And He will usher me into a life that will end in everlasting life with Him.

I did mention that there were three relationships that I would write about.  The third relationship is my relationship with my present wife, Nancy.  God gave me a gift of immense proportions.  A blessing beyond measure.  He gave me a wife to share in a relationship with Him and who has taught me how to grow in Christ every day.  God wanted me to have an AWESOME relationship; both in Spirit with Him and on earth with Nancy.

Marriage has purpose.  That purpose can be found in God’s Word.  God has given us all things, including marriage.  Marriage was to be an antidote to loneliness.  Here is what the Jesus said about this:  “But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.  ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’  Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (Mark 10:6-9 NLT)  Marriage is God’s idea.

Having a permanent relationship with my wife is extremely important to me.  God has given me the ability, through Him, to keep my marriage permanent. It is a relationship that is binding on me.  It takes precedence over any immediate need.  It is a Covenantal Relationship.  That is because, at its core, it is teaching us to love and sacrifice even when we don’t see the benefit.  It is allowing God to shape the character of both Nancy and I through the keeping of our promise to love, honor, and obey until death do us part.

If you want to hear a powerful message on Fighting for an Awesome Marriage, click the link to hear Pastor Aaron Taylor.  http://painesvilleag.com/awesome-relationships-2

Friend, you may not have the same story.  But undoubtedly, you have relationships in your life.  A relationship with God is one that is of the utmost importance.  God gave Himself for us so that we could have a covenant relationship with Him.

Maybe one of those relationships is marriage.  God designed marriage.  Marriage is good despite the ridicule it has received from today’s culture.  Marriage is about connection and friendship and companionship.  Marriage is about covenant and allowing God to shape our character through our mate.  It is about allowing God to shape you and make you Holy as you keep the promise to love one another.  Jesus loving us, the church, and giving of Himself sacrificially is the picture of what the marriage relationship should look like. My prayer for you is that if you are in a marriage, make a commitment to stay in your marriage.  God will provide what you need and lay out your course together.  It really is worth it.

George Leonhardt
Writer/Blogger

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