3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
This verse is inscribed inside our wedding bands. From the beginning of our lives together, my husband and I wanted to be reminded of our purpose in marriage–to glorify and magnify the Lord through our married life. Interestingly, this same verse is inscribed in my parents’ wedding rings, as well. The verse is a timeless reminder for me as a wife, and for me as a Christian. My journey through life is not as a soloist, but as a member of a group–Us.
When we live life unto ourselves, there is no Us. It is merely Me. I. Mine. That can be a very lonely place. When we are not joined together with others for the purpose of magnifying the Lord, we lose our sense of purpose and community. God’s design was not for Adam to be a solo act. Eve was specially prepared to meet the needs of community for Adam. Eve came along prior to the fall of sin. She was Good.
I believe that marriages live and breathe life when the focus is squarely placed on the Lord Jesus and His role within the marriage. He unifies the focus–when both the husband and wife are looking at Jesus with the mindset of bringing glory to God, it is impossible to be at odds with one another. It is extraordinarily difficult to be angry or impatient with someone when you are both praising, glorifying and honoring the Lord. Yet, when one takes the eyes off of the central focus, trouble very quickly ensues.
English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Neither the verse in Psalms nor the verses in Hebrews are intended for just the married crowd. These verses ought to be life verses for those who claim a relationship through Jesus Christ. We are reminded that we are running a long race, that there is a heavenly audience of witnesses watching how we run…Do we falter? Are we dragging a load of sin along with us on the track? What is our goal?
I hate running. If I had known earlier in life that the tightness in my chest was asthma, I might not hate running, but…I hate it. It scares me a little because I can’t breathe. BUT, God has fully equipped each one of His children for the race that they are running…and He wants us to finish the race He has set before us. Like Peter walking on the water, we can finish that race when our gaze is on the Lord Jesus.
I am feeling very sentimental today…Nathan and I are celebrating 32 years of marriage. Songs run through my head that were played or sung, images are burned into my memory of that day. I am so very thankful for a husband whose focus has been shared. Who continues to run this same race, not leaving me in the dust nor dragging me along, but who runs side by side, step by step, as we both race for the finish line. I am overwhelmed by the great love God shared when he blessed me with this man. So undeserved, but such a wonderful gift.
Do you run your race with endurance? Keep running. Don’t stall out. Keep your focus and gain the reward!