I remember the beautiful Spring day, at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference, when Andrea Merrell joined me for a cup of java at The Cloud Cafe’.
On that special day, I had the privilege of interviewing Andrea about her newly released book, entitled: Praying for the Prodigal. It was a sweet time of fellowship, which casually led to sharing other dreams of our hearts-one of which was Andrea’s desire to write a book about marriage.
What joy to find Andrea’s ‘dream-come-true’ inside of my mailbox this week! Eikkkk! Yay, Andrea!
I think my excitement will make perfect sense to you, as you read a ‘tid-bit’ of Andrea’s wisdom, on the subject of marriage, today.
Trust me, you will be like I was the day Andrea shared her heart with me at The Cloud Cafe’ – wanting to drink in another sip, and another, and another…
A Constant State of Love and Renewal
By Andrea Merrell
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Deuteronomy 6:5 MSG
“I’ve been married three times … to the same woman.”
Several years ago, my husband made this statement to a men’s group at church. You can probably imagine the shock on the faces of these men who had known Charlie for years and had the utmost respect for him. A barrage of questions followed.
When he explained, there were nods and words of understanding and approval all around.
I thought about this scenario recently when a radio announcer encouraged the listeners to go back to the happiest moment of their lives—their wedding day. She talked about the excitement, the expectancy, and the sheer joy of the experience. Sad to say, my wedding day was not like that. Oh, Charlie and I loved each other—at least the best we knew how—but we had not invited God into our relationship. Our first marriage ceremony (in my mother’s living room) was more of a license to live together.
Seven years later, Charlie and I renewed our vows in the backyard of a friend, surrounded by godly men and women who were thrilled to share in our expression of love and commitment to each other—and to the Lord.
Eighteen years later—on our twenty-fifth anniversary—we renewed our vows once more. This time we were in a church, I was wearing a real wedding dress, and our attendants consisted of our teenage son and daughter. What a blessing. That’s a day I can look back on with great joy and the fondest of memories.
When God is the center, love grows. This is true in marriage, parenting, and friendships. It’s also true in our relationship with Him. The more time we spend with him—giving Him our whole heart and loving Him with everything within us—the deeper our love and the stronger our commitment. As Christians, we should be in a constant state of renewal, never allowing our love to diminish or our devotion to slip away.
Today, Charlie and I have been married over forty years. Our love has grown stronger and deeper because Jesus is the Lord of our hearts, our lives, and our marriage. Who knows … one day we just might get married again.
Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.