Posted on January 26, 2016 by Eric Cai
This is actually Eric and Megan – we’re sort of co-writing this week’s Staff Links because we wanted to share some links that were helpful for us as we prepare to get married (in 11 days! Eek!)
Amidst the mountains of planning, cake tasting, dress buying, seating chart arranging – we’ve been blessed to be surrounded by a community of believers who have encouraged us to not plan for the wedding, but work hard at planning for our marriage. What a blessing to be reminded of what weddings and marriage is really about.
We are so excited to get married. Here are some links that have been particularly encouraging or convicting for us as we close out this season of engagement.
Marriage on the Edge of Eternity
Eric: As Megan and I start our new life together, and amidst all the wonderful things of being married, Francis Chan’s words provided a helpful perspective on the ultimate end of marriage: Megan and I are to display the beauty and wondrous mystery of Christ’s love for the Church.
Megan: This is my favorite part – “Eternity changes how we enjoy marriage and everything else in this life. Eternity changes how we love. It would be unloving to get my wife and kids so focused on this life that they are unprepared for the next. Some Christians emphasize marriage so much that it might lead some to believe the goal of Christianity is to have a happy marriage, and God becomes a means to that end. I hear many Christians thank God for their families more than they thank him for the cross. Obviously God wants us to love our families, but let’s be careful.”
Single You will be the Married You
Megan: I think I always idealized getting married – once I became a wife, everything would fall into place. This article helped to remind me that we’re sanctified by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit – not because we change our Ms. to Mrs. “No, marriage will not instantly change you. God, because of Christ and through his Holy Spirit, will change you when you’ve surrendered yourself to him, whether married or unmarried.”
Eric: As I prepare to lead Megan in a marriage relationship, I end up justifyingly saying to myself, ‘Well, if I don’t do a good job now, I’m sure I’ll do a better job once we’re married.’ While it’s true that we grow in grace; on the other hand, how can I expect that I will excel when I’m married, if I’m not excelling prior to being married?
The Good Unwanted Gift of Singleness
Megan: This article is so candid and raw about what a challenge it is to find true contentment and joy in Christ … instead of just wishing for the “next-best-thing” – a spouse, a family, a big retirement account, etc. “Instead of seeing singleness as a glaring reminder that I am lacking something, I see the gift is good because the gift Giver is good.”
Eric: There’s a reason why Jesus didn’t say that being his disciple entails getting married. Nor does the abundant life that Jesus gives us entail a life of marriage. Jesus, the ultimate Single, knows that, as great as marriage is, there is more to life than being married. It is a life that is spent in undivided devotion and commitment to him–married or single.
For the Days You Don’t Like Your Spouse
Eric: I don’t really like the title of the article, but I suspect that the title might actually represent the feelings that you might have toward your spouse from time to time.
Megan: Right – and it’s a good encouragement on getting to the heart issue of where those feelings might come from, and how to fight it and really learn to love and enjoy your spouse – despite differences you might have! “I want to love my husband well, but pretending I’m further along in this than I am doesn’t produce transformation in me. And I certainly can’t respond to my husband with humility if I’m unwilling to humble myself before God and admit I need help. Our gracious and merciful God knows how needy and helpless we are. We can confess our sin and struggle and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need. “
Thanks for reading! Excited to worship with you on Sunday.
See you later –
Eric and Megan