THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

June 29, 1984

June 29, 1984

By Lisa Huddleston

Saturday was our 29th wedding anniversary. Incredible, and yes, as the cliche goes, time has flown. How did this happen to us? It seems like only yesterday … you can fill in the rest. Yeah, grown kids, gray hair–it happens to the best of us.

However, this year I have considered our marriage a little differently than I have before. Marriage is a hot-button issue and the recent Supreme Court decision has it in the forefront of my wandering brain. Those who have never been allowed to marry are fighting for their “rights” while those who have always been expected to marry are devaluing the institution by foregoing it altogether, calling “engagement” a marriage, or throwing away unions that have become “unhappy.”

Before you misunderstand me, I recognize that we do not live in a Christian nation. I even see the recent court decision as a logical one in light of the values of our country–without God why couldn’t any union be called a “marriage”? I also freely acknowledge that some marriages are better left behind even those between two believers. But I am not writing about those exceptions today. I am writing to the average Christian husband and wife. Yeah, that’s probably you if you’re reading this blog. I know it’s me. Do you value what you have? Have you looked at that man or woman you’ve spent the last 5, 10, or 20 years with lately? Thankfully eyesight is one of the first things to go so you may not see the bald spots or the wrinkles–but hopefully you can still see the boy or girl you fell in love with. I can, and I pray Chuck can, too. And it is still good!

And for you believers who aren’t as far down the road, please, accept my invitation to blessing. Try to honor God with your relationships. You won’t always do it–God knows I haven’t–but you can always try. He’ll honor your heart and give you the help you need. In 29 years it will truly be worth it, even if it doesn’t always feel that way today. It really will.

Twenty-nine years goes by in a blink. Yet, the fruit of the years remains. No, it hasn’t been easy. No, we haven’t always had the best relationship. But, yes, I would do it all again. It’s the marathon events that prove the value of anything. The tortoise–not the hare. The long obedience in the same direction. And for these hindsight truths, I am very thankful.

And today I write to share these thoughts. Take it from a gray-haired bride of 52, marriage matters. God gave it to us as a gift at the very beginning, and that gift is still there. No matter how the word is redefined by the world, no matter how difficult some seasons can be–the gift of a God-honoring union that produces godly children and represents the relationship of God and His church still matters. Can I get a witness?

WHY I WRITE THIS BLOG

By Lisa Huddleston

When I first began this blog, I was just beginning to re-discover my nearly lost love of writing.  My children were growing up, heading off to college, and I was suddenly (for the first time in 20 years) finding myself with too much time on my hands.  I was also in the throes of a massive identity crisis.

I began with devotionals.  Carefully crafted:  scripture verse at the top in italics, a discussion of what the verse was saying, a short life application, and often a call to action.  It was a safe way to write.  I always did my utmost to support anything I said from scripture, and I rarely heard anything but positive comments.

My writing has changed as I have.  Now I write from my emotional heart–my “being self.”  Yes, I still strive to support my words from a Christian worldview.  Afterall, I am a Christian.  However I have stopped hiding behind the Bible.  Now when I have real struggles and need to explore less-than-popular opinions, I do.  And that has changed the feedback that I have received.

But that is real.  Christians struggle.  Christians even sin.  And I would rather read the words of a struggling believer than those of someone who thinks they have it all together.  (I know–I’ve never even been able to pretend to that!!)

Both when I began and now, writing is cathartic.  Mainly this blog is a way for me to process what is going on in my heart and head–to make sense of the pinballs that are bouncing around in me.  It is not primarily about the reader.  But … I do care about my reader.  I do not want to discourage.  I do not want to promote doubtful or sinful living.  Not at all!  But I believe that being honest allows us both–reader and writer–to deal better with life.  Just as writing helps me to get rid of the junk I feel, reading the writings of others who are struggling helps me to do the same thing.

I’m sure by now you can guess that I have received negative feedback from someone who has been reading this blog.  I respect that and even appreciate the honesty that my reader has extended.  But as with everything, readers have a choice about what they read just as writers have a choice about what they write.  Freedom.  If I have offended (or discouraged or depressed) you, dear reader, please unsubscribe.  I appreciate your freedom to choose.

However this is who I am learning to be.  Me.  A struggling, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, follower stumbling forward in the path of Jesus Christ.  I fall, a lot, but I always get back up and keep on walking.  And that’s where (or who) I am.  Hope you get that and can keep walking that path with me.

Peace and grace, and thanks for reading.