A Tool for Spiritual Growth

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Some friends recently recommended to me author Francine Rivers. I started with her Lineage of Grace series, featuring the five women listed in Jesus’ lineage. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series, Unveiled, based on the life of Tamar.

I couldn’t wait to read the other four, but they were all checked out at the library. While I waited for them to be returned, I checked out Francine Rivers’ novel, The Scarlet Thread.

Wow! What a great book. It is about two women, separated by centuries, but joined by a journal and a life spiraling out of their own control. Sierra is a woman of the nineties, experiencing the breakdown of her marriage. Mary Katherine is a woman facing the struggles and uncertainty of life on the Oregon Trail.

One thing that really struck me about the book, toward the end, was Sierra’s realization that God had used her husband to grow her faith. I thought that was really interesting because I’ve been reading Elizabeth George’s A Woman After God’s Own Heart, in which she points out essentially the same thing. In Mrs. George’s chapter entitled “A Heart That Submits,” she says:

Your husband is your life mate. Whatever he is like, he is God’s good and perfect gift to you, part of God’s plan for your personal fulfillment and, more important, for your spiritual development.

Wow! Doesn’t that put a different spin on the marriage relationship? I believe, with all my heart, that God brought Brian and I together and, I confess, sometimes I find myself thinking that I’m the spiritually mature one. (Please tell me that I’m not the only one who does that. I might need to re-read my post on judgement.) The fact is, however, that Brian is as spiritually mature, if not more so, as I am, but in different ways.

We compliment each other, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Brian challenges me to greater spiritual growth in areas where I am weak and he is strong.

God knew what He was doing when He put us together and I hope that I can keep that in the forefront of my mind and not lose sight of that fact. God put us together to love and support one another, to help and befriend each other and to stretch and to grow one another.

Thank you, God, for my husband.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The 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.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Gen. 2:18, 22-24)

So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate. (Matthew 19:6)
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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Thank you for that… I really needed that this morning. Marriage has really seemed like a lot of work lately, and it’s been exhausting. A good friend of mine said recently in Bible study, “Always remember that put you together because you have the potential to be stronger together than you are separately.” That kind of echoes the sentiment Elizabeth George was sending. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Found you from the blog party. Great quote on the marriage relationship. Just last night I felt like you confessed feelings from time to time (being spiritually more mature)… goodness, that just sounds so immature doesn’t it? “I’m more mature than you!” sounds like something my kids would boast. 😉

  3. I agree with this so well. A few months now I’ve come to realize just this very thing about my husband. I know for a fact that it wasn’t by chance we met.

    And I now understand and see how he is helping me spiritually and surely ever so often I get to feeling that I am indeed the spiritually mature one 🙂

    He challenges me…even in areas that I resent at a time, but just silently because I cannot run from the truth of the matter and am convicted.

    Thank you. I enjoyed reading that. And thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Enjoy your Sunday

  4. That is a great book. I need to read it again. Oh, and rest assured, you are not the only one (ahem)! I’m off to read that post on judgement.

  5. stopping by from the UBP 09 party. It’s so great to meet other homeschooling families.. I’ve heard a lot about your blog but until today haven’t made it over here. I’ve bookmarked you and plan to return again.. Happy Homeschooling!

  6. It’s very freeing to realize that whatever happens in marriage, God is not surprised, and can use it to make us more like Him. I love Gary Thomas’s Sacred Marriage and read it when I need to be reminded that it is my holiness that God is concerned with, not my happiness.

  7. I’ve had Francine Rivers recommended to me, too, but haven’t gotten around to reading any of her books. Now, I’ll be looking at our library for them.

    Thank you for wishing my sister happy birthday. You made her day!

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