Today is a combo. I want to think a little about knowing how we're doing in the "leaving" category of marriage, but may I first just share a request for you to pray?
It seems like a long time ago that the Lord obviously began to put together our Women's Ministry Holiday Event for this year. It's been like a song, as He linked me with a very special speaker, added in ideas, mixed in opportunities, and then let it build. TONIGHT is the big event, and it's called a "Holiday Old to New." I love 2 Cor. 5:17 that says, "if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" That's the message of the Bible, and it has changed my life. It's the power behind Jesus' call to "Come have a peace."
The Lord has sewn a sweet friendship in my life with Cindy Bultema of She Sparkles, and Cindy is here (in my hometown!) to share her story ... God's story ... tonight! We'll start with dinner together, and the tables are all decorated with mini Christmas trees that different women have made, using "old" things to make something "new." Then we'll have a unique program that begins with a fashion show (put on by our own Sr. Pastor's wife Sue); everything had to come from a consignment or thrift store. ;) FUN! I'll be wearing a sweater I found Thursday for $2.85 and pants I bought for $10. Love that! My shoes are hand me downs. Great! It's all about how something old can be transformed to new life!!!
Then, Cindy will share her story of life Old to New. Would you pray for God to do great things? I really covet your prayers over this evening and again on Saturday morning. Cindy will go with me and some of my gal pals from our church to Serenity Shelter. We get to share the same sweet story there. Please pray with us. I'll share pictures next week.
Now ... how to know how you're doing with the "leaving" part of marriage. It can be a real sticky point in marriage around the holidays. Each spouse wants to know they are #1 in their lover's life, that nothing (even Mom or Dad or Aunt Ida) bumps them out of that prime place. There will be moments when a husband or a wife has to choose ... and who will you choose? So much depends on whether or not you live out your "leaving."
When God's Word says "leaves his father and mother" it is using a word that means to leave behind, forsake, depart from, let alone. Have you and your husband departed from your parents' "old" role in your life to embrace their "new" role?
Genesis 2:23-25The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Notice that leaving has to happen before a couple can live as "one flesh," and the leaving does not result in a sense of shame. Leaving is what married people are mean to do. It precedes the cleaving (next week). Here are TEN questions to ask to help you know if you are living out your leaving:
- When I say "our family," do I mean my husband and I?
- When I say "spending _________ at home," whose home do I mean?
- Do I make decisions or commit our family to plans without talking to my spouse?
- Do I worry about or fear what my parents will think if we don't choose their preference?
- When I have to "choose" a side, whose side do I choose?
- If I have great news or a burden, whom do I share with first? Parent or spouse?
- Do I let differences/decisions with parents (mine or his) create distance between us?
- If I don't see extended family for a holiday, do I feel "incomplete" or depressed?
- Do I make my spouse's desires a priority during the holidays?
- Who do I shop for last?
This might be a fun list to talk about with your spouse ... over a Pumpkin Latte. :) There are many ways you could answer these questions, and there are not always right or wrong answers, but they will get you thinking ... and talking. After this holiday event weekend, I think I'll ask Jeff how he would answer. (Are you out there reading today's post, Honey? :) I'm starting your shopping next week!)
This weekend I hope you'll make sure you're living like you're "leaving," and I'll appreciate your prayers for our Holiday Old to New.