How can Solomon make this exclamation about his bride in Song of Solomon 6:9-10? I think I get it. When I make these sorts of exclamations regarding Carrie, she often feels I may be convincing myself and reminding myself to be single-hearted on her as my one-and-only. She’s humble to feel this way, not seeking to too quickly affirm my praise of her. Yet, I do feel and think the way I do about her with confident passion. As a husband makes a practice of prizing his bride above all other women, as he chooses to look upon her beauty with a single focused appreciation of her beauty, he can’t help but to feel this deep appreciation not only for her beauty but for her character. I believe this only increases as the years pass to where character is more and more pronounced and noticed in one’s bride.
Carrie has hung in there with me through so many foibles and irritating battles with my sin and weakness. Now that I’ve arrived, it’s much easier for her… LAUGH OUT LOUD! In all seriousness though, I look around us at our friends and feel like a midget among giants. My fight for purity and for a single devotion to Carrie as her covenant husband, deeply adoring her more and more as my covenant bride… It’s a violent struggle against a very dark set of three enemies: Satan, my flesh, and an ever darkening world of sinful flesh. Lately, because I had a great conversation with my dad about these dumb phones that give us access to fire close to our chests as men… I remembered that we didn’t have these temptations so close to us until pretty recently. I’m slow, I’ll admit it. I asked him if he ever feels tempted to look at junk on-line, and then I answered my own question and said, “That’s right, you don’t have internet on your phone!” It hit me. I had to take the necessary steps to be above reproach and remove internet access from my dumb/stupid/temptation-pumped phone. Fortunately I can say that falling to lust on my phone has not been a constant thing, and yet I have certainly sinned there… ghastly to admit this to the public… or just vulnerable and wanting to grow along with you, my friends and readers.
Carrie has a password on my phone and ipad now and all apps with internet access are removed. No YouTube. Nothing. Just the old email, texting, wordpress app for blogging, photo tools, Voxer – love this one for keeping up with some of my buds, Logos, Audiobooks, Kindle, and OnSong for worship leading etc. If I want internet access I need to use my wife’s laptop with her there or my work laptop, and if I use my work laptop I can’t be seeing inappropriate junk or I’ll lose my insurance agency – State Farm is old school in the good kind of old school… They have been known to take away agencies from agents using their computers to look at pornography. Wait! What am I doing talking about lust on a post about marriage? It has everything to do with marriage.
How do we view our wives or future wives as perfect, as beyond imagination beautiful to us? We get violently opposed to our lust! We take every measure possible to make sure they know that we adore them and to make sure we are treating them as adorable and beautiful and excellent! Not only that, we honor them no matter how they are behaving in any given day because we have made a covenant with our eyes to behold no evil in an adoring way. When we fight with our brothers in Christ for purity, we discover godly attraction again. We more and more realize the inner beauty and external beauty of our wives. We also come to realize the beauty of our surroundings and the worthy-of-praise features of our friends and family members. Throughout the years, the more I’ve fought to reflect the holiness of our Savior which has been placed in my life by His death in my place, the more I’ve been able to appreciate the beauty of those around me in a wholesome and edifying way.
Let’s face it, we can’t hold fire close to our chests and not get burned. We must be above reproach and seek to reflect the holiness that is already our identity because of the blood of Christ. As we work out this salvation with awe and worshipful hearts, we experience increased joy every day.
Something pretty special came over me as I stood with my bride and held our son this Sunday, worshiping with many other godly families around us. I started thinking one by one about the men around me with their families. I thought about the hours of conversation I’ve had with them and how they have fought for holy living, striven to show love to their wives and children, and submitted their wills to the Master, to the Lover of their souls, our awesome Savior and LORD. I felt like a dwarf among giants in the faith. To be honest, I’ve often had too high a view of my character throughout the years. I’ve always appeared pretty righteous and like a good boy, a good example to point your sons to follow. But here I stood, beginning to feel smaller and smaller though standing in my 6′ 4″ frame by my 5′ 11″ beautiful bride, holding my adorable little blonde son. We look great and godly, I’ve often felt, yet at that moment I was so aware of how unworthy to stand in this assembly I am. But for the grace of God!
Every day I am humbled to be able to call myself a Christ-follower, a child of God. Husbands, I’d encourage you to join me in adoring our Savior. As we do this more and more, our fight against lust in particular will be more and more a given. We will more easily take the steps necessary to live above reproach and we will more and more consistently prize our brides as the beauties they are, our one-and-only for each of us. As we do this, too, we will build in trust among ourselves as couples, building friendships in purity and godliness that is all springing from Jesus Christ’s death for us as His people, bought at the price of His blood on the cross.
Thank you all for your hanging in there with these more vulnerable posts. The more I share not only from my own life but from the lives of these giants around me, I’m so honored to be known as a child of God. May it be more and more true of us that we are most aware of two things along with John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace:
1) I am a great sinner
2) Jesus Christ is a VERY GREAT SAVIOR!
Love you dearly, friends.