March 06, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #17

I am hoping you will join us on our 40 day journey of praying for the marriage's of those around us. My sweet friend told me once, "wedding problems are always a spiritual battle," and so with our prayers to the Father, they will be our weapons to fight with God for the hearts and unions of those around us. So get your list and join us in prayer.  The guest posts will bless those who are praying and also those of us who are married or know married people. I love that each post is very different. Get ready for some wonderful encouragement and powerful thoughts and prayers. Enjoy these blessings.

Many thanks to Phil Ware for his post here today.

Message from the Heart
Have you ever wondered where lint in the dryer comes from? I mean, really! How many tons of the stuff have come off your clothes over the years? It's almost like lint multiplies while in the dryer. You see, lint in the drier is just one of those crazy realities of life: no matter how much you have cleaned out the lint screen, you know with the next round of clothes, the lint is going to multiply in that thing and have another batch of the fuzzy stuff waiting for you in that screen!

Little annoying habits are a lot the same way. They're so easy to pick up. Even when we are not trying, we can slip into them. We often don't even notice them. Whatcha bet we our spouses recognize them? Thankfully, they just ignore them most of the time. It's part of the grace of love -- we overlook each other's "bad lint" -- those irritating habits that come with the person we love!

Years ago, when Donna and I were engaged, I learned that it drove her crazy when her room mates in college whacked their tooth brushes on the sink to get the water out of them after they finished brushing. She never knew that I spent three months trying to get rid of this lifelong habit until years later. She heard me use it in a sermon illustration. She had never known I had done that. Let's just say that it scored me a bunch of unexpected brownie points! And that's not even why I did it.

Now let's be clear, whether you are whacker like I was before making my quiet correction, a flicker (running your thumb nail over the brush to get the water out), a sucker (you suck the water out at the end of brushing), or a rinse-and-dripper isn't the issue.

The issue is very simple: there are jillion things we do that drive our spouse nuts! Most of them aren't a big deal. But over time, a lot of little things can make a big thing. After awhile, the lint adds up!

And the good news is this: giving up an annoying habit for Lent, or just for love's sake for that matter, is not really a sacrifice. It may not even be noticed. However, it will do one very vital thing in your heart: it will remind you that annoying habits are easier to break out of love than out of conflict! And, whether noticed or not, your heart can feel glad for doing something out of love for the one you love! After all, how many gracious and loving things has the Lord done for you lately that you may have never noticed? Since the Father delights in giving good gifts to his children, so shouldn't we find delight in getting rid of a little of that "annoying habit lint" for love and for Lent?