Sunday, August 2, 2009

Modeling Values - Our Marriages Will Change and Shape Lives

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Without trying, we model our values to everyone we come in contact with; our spouses, children, strangers, neighbors and so on. When we looked at our spouse in an irritated manner, someone saw us. When we spoke harshly to our children, someone heard us. When we looked a little too long at the opposite sex in a lustful way, someone saw us do that too. All of these incidences told other people what’s not only important to us, but what we value. As well, we’ve also taught others just how to treat our spouses, our children or our struggle; either identical to our very own treatment or with compassion and mercy.

Despite the many eyes and ears that inadvertently partake in our jaded character issues and despite how displeased and uncomfortable they may have been, God too, was present and He too was displeased.

After all it’s God’s pleasure that matters most isn’t it? Yet, often we forget that He mercifully preordained us for ministry; the toughest ministry here on earth; a ministry that’s specific and distinct in exemplifying His values, character, morals and ethics – no more – no less. He allowed us to marry someone to live out His Covenant with for the rest of our lives; a partner to love and to co-parent with. He eradicated lives of loneliness for us.

How do we model that gift?

Several years ago, the whole concept of “being an example” or in this case “value modeling” became brutally clear Kevin and me when we were at my brother and sister-in-laws house. Sian(pronounced Shawn), my nephew, pictured above and soon to be 14years old, was about 10 years old at the time and everyone had gone in the kitchen to get more food (that’s what we do at my brother’s house, WE EAT! He’s a chef). After goofing around with Kevin a bit, he too headed to the kitchen and as he was leaving I simply thanked him for getting my food (my back was aching severely). Out of the blue, Sian took Kevin spot on the couch, proceeded to put his head on my shoulder and said to me, “Auntie, when I grow up I want a wife just like you.” With a confused look on my face, I asked him what he meant. He said that he likes the way I treat his uncle; how we have fun, how I listen to him, but more importantly, how I talked to his uncle. That blew my mind and yes brought tears to my eyes. The conversation was a little longer, but you get the point.

Sian witnessed my value for Kevin and Kevin’s value for me.

What a new perspective this was for Kevin and me. Since being married, Kevin and I have always heard both encouraging and discouraging comments about our relationship by those close to us and those that don’t know us at all and it never moved nor concerned us. However, this day, things changed and so did we. We began to understand how EVERYTHING we do, as a couple, influences people to love God and others or just the opposite, to define their future with hope or not; possibilities or not, love or not or to say yes to marriage or not. WHOA!!!!!! Isn’t that what God offers us; love, hope, possibilities, a future, free will and some even get a partner to share the ride?

As we continue to persevere to love our spouses with a pure heart, clear conscience and sincere faith, we will most certainly fail, but God will not. His character is spot on, he values us and He’s more than willing to guide and instruct us along the way.

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