I pray for you, my children, that you will all see with the eyes of eternity—that through the trials and tribulations of life—specifically marriage—you will never have the shade of a doubt that, from all eternity, God planned for you to be with the one you have pledged to be faithful to. Guard your hearts and never allow the slightest strain of, “Well, maybe”, or “What if”, to enter your minds. Your unconditional commitment to your marriage, based on a total conviction of God’s sovereignty in bringing you together, is its greatest strength!
I think it's an important quote. When sinners say I do (yes, I realize I stole the phrase from the book), you see your sin multiplied in a million ways. People always told me that, but I didn't get it. Not that you can't see your sin clearly before or without marriage, but just that your selfishness comes out (not always, but more often than you might guess) in a scary, new way and selfish thoughts uncorrected produce selfish actions. I MUST keep a close watch over my thoughts, desires, and would-be complaints... I must keep a grateful heart. I must have an unwavering conviction that what Mrs. Challies says is so incredibly true:
Your unconditional commitment to your marriage, based on a total conviction of God’s sovereignty in bringing you together, is its greatest strength!
I have a wonderful and godly husband, my best friend, and so I must say this quote is admittedly easier for me to apply than for people who are married to jerks. My husband is amazing and loves me, for reasons hard for me to understand, with a tremendous love. However, we both know ourselves, more clearly now that we are married, to be sinners. I know myself to be a sinner constantly and have to guard, really guard my thoughts and die to myself, learning to lovingly put Dustin's needs before mine. Learning to be content in all circumstances (I'm not like Paul, I haven't "learned" it yet).
Learning these lessons and a zillion more. But there is great grace. And this quote is one to hold on to, even if your marriage is currently incredible, or if it's not, because there are and will be those days. Days when your conviction may be tempted to waver, even if just a tiny, little bit. Even if you don't give into the temptation, you must resolve to guard your thoughts with deep conviction in the truth of God's sovereignty. How kind of God, from all eternity, to so wisely and sovereignly hand-pick His mates for us, if that be His will, and how we must keep that in our minds. Won't it change our thoughts? Actions? Tone? And the overall aroma of our homes?
P.S. For any singles, this principle seems to apply, too, or it would have to me not too very long ago. This part specifically, Guard your hearts and never allow the slightest strain of, “Well, maybe”, or “What if”, to enter your minds. God is sovereignly hand-picking all of your days as well!