Building on a firm foundation
By Esther Velez
I got married last year at the age of 62 after 31 years as a wife and 5 years as a widow. I knew things were going to be different this time because I was now a christian wife marrying a christian husband.
My fiancée and I had one year of long distance courtship. I was in Perth and he in Adelaide. It was a good test of faith, patience and righteousness. I took 4 months to prepare the wedding which I wanted to be in the context of the Scriptures which parallel Revelation 19:1 “Let us rejoice and celebrate, and give Him the glory for the wedding day of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready”. We were preparing ourselves to enter a holy covenant.
What was different?
Should I or shouldn’t I? That was the million dollar question facing me when Jose proposed. Should I serve God as a single woman or as a couple? In my quiet time God answered me. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat; but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”. Ecc.4:9-12 Jose too was led to this assurance, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord”. Prov.18:22
I discovered that my previous 31 years of marital experience and my mature age did not give me the necessary foundation as a new bride. In fact I had to almost start with a clean slate. I never realised that being a born again Christian meant that even in marriage, my old former life has died and I am to live like a new creation as a Christian wife. I now had to rely on my last 5 years of Christian foundation teaching on how to be such a wife.
• Knowing my role. God has established a line of authority in the family with the husband as the head, wife to submit and children to obey their parents. I quickly learned the skill of submission to my husband. With my individuality and self-worth, I know I am not a servant but a supporter and helper, honouring, respecting and encouraging my husband to do the will of God. Because both of us are constantly trying to do His will, my submission comes naturally. Because he is such a faithful man of God, respecting and functioning in a team with him is much easier.
• Making decisions. We have been married for almost a year now. We have experienced how God works when we have to make important decisions. The Holy Spirit is our first point of reference not our last. There is no need to struggle on our own for answers. We ask God to guide us and as He unfolds His plans, we obey. When we have conflicts and disagreements we seek resolution not self-victory. I can maintain a sweet gentle spirit, working together as friends, not enemies.
What an easy way to live in unity and harmony. We see time and time again how it all comes together.
• Praying together. Even throughout the one year of interstate dating, our daily phone conversations always ended with him praying and thanking God. This has not changed and in fact has gained double portion of prayer strength as we start and end the day praying together. We have committed to have a regular time of prayer.
• Surrender. Surrendering to my husband’s will to serve God has provided me the focus in my marriage. I learned that it is not about what I want and need all the time. We both surrender our daily challenges into God’s capable hands. By having complete trust and faith, I have the quiet confidence that God’s plan for me as a new Christian bride will bear fruit in transforming me to become a righteous Christian wife. Although we are still in “Cloud 9”, we are constantly aware of the blessing of surrendering to God’s will. This is a firm foundation for our marriage and it gives us a very reassuring feeling that it will stand the storms in the future.
Esther is a regular contributor to our website. See “Wedding bells for Jose and Esther” Mar.2015