Posted
January 26
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CharmingLock

HOW TO SET YOUR WIFE FREE

OUR HOUSE: The Bedroom #2

And you husbands

Love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church.

He gave up his life for her…

In the same way,

Husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies…

This is a great mystery

Ephesians 5v25,28,32

NLT

Dear Matthew,

When you were a little boy you lived for the moments when all of us were all about you: Vanquishing your older brother with a wrapping-paper-tube-turned-Star-Wars-light-saber. Taking piggy-back rides on Bekah’s back, reading stories on Elizabeth’s lap.

Those were your happiest times, the moments when you were fully yourself and wholly free to be anything you wanted to be.

And now you’re a man— and a husband.

As a husband, your are tasked by God Himself to partner with Him in setting your wife free to be fully herself and wholly free to be everything God created her to be.

Your God-given instructions are found in Ephesians 5vs 21-33, but for today there’s just one word I want you to think about:

Radiant.

God instructs husbands to so love their wives that they become radiant women.

That, my son, is a task for a lifetime.

Because for a woman to radiate, she must be washed and soothed and immersed in true love, in the kind of love that only God can give. And yet… He tasks you to represent Himself to your wife.

He goes so far as to tell husbands that they ought even to love their wives as their own bodies. Which leads me to suggest that He’s hinting at sexuality here too.

God is saying that your coming together in the bedroom is not so much about releasing your pent up, pulsing, driving need, but about unleashing her more hidden, yet-to-be-fully-discovered passions.

But how? Men and women are so distinctly different. A man is aroused primarily by what he sees, while a woman is aroused first by how she feels.

And so I’ve put together a list, of course. And I’m hoping the women who read this post will add their own ideas in the comments.

Six Ways To Set Your Wife Free:

  1. Be nice— all day long. A nice man, one who is kind and thoughtful and quick to give way rather than demand his own way, is incredibly appealing to a woman.
  2. Be humble— learning the art of the apology. The minute you’re short or disapproving or critical or in any way rejecting, apologize profusely. “I was wrong.” “I was a grouch.” “It’s not your fault.” Those are the words of allure to a woman.
  3. Be generous— with words. You don’t have to be poetic or prolific, but she craves your words, relishes them, blossoms under her husband’s generosity— and freezes under his silence.
  4. Be generous— with beauty. She needs beauty. She was created for beauty. She needs you to get that and to figure out a way to recreate the beauty of Eden in order to thrive. And she needs you to tell her she’s beautiful over and over again until someday she believes you.
  5. Be affectionate— the kind of touch that isn’t (initially) for sex often leads a woman to want all of you. Women respond to touch, it is part of her sensuality mechanism. Purposely showing fondness in words and touch and flowers and kindness goes a long way.
  6. Be honest— “I am entrusting my sexuality to you and to you alone. That scares me because my need is so great, but I am trusting you.” She has no idea how much you need her, how often you think about making love to her, how often you really want her but don’t approach her because you’re afraid of rejection. Tell her. More than once. Tell her honestly and vulnerably. That’s actually strangely exciting for a woman.

And one last word: go slow. Seducing your wife to her fullest freedom is a form of art. It takes time, it takes learning, it takes practice.

But hey, you’ve got the rest of your lives!

From a heart that wants the best for both of you,

Mom

 

(image by Hillary Kupish)

Posted
January 19
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Charminglightswitch2

WHY SEX IS A VERY BIG DEAL

OUR HOUSE: The Bedroom #1

Eat friends;

drink and imbibe deeply,

O lovers.

Song of Songs 5v1

NASB

 …drink your fill of love

NIV

Dear Matt and Simona,

God likes sex.

He approves, He smiles, He delights in seeing His created ones drinking deeply of this gift from Him.

In fact, He likes what He made so much that He dares use it as a metaphor for the intimacy He invites each of us into with Himself.[1]

But here’s what worries me:

Lots of married couples act as if sex is really not that big of a deal.

They don’t talk about it much, don’t try that hard, don’t wonder why they’ve settled into a less-than-terrific routine of barely enough and barely good enough sex to satisfy either of them.

And I think that makes God sad.

Because He makes a big deal about sex. Good sex (the married, mutually satisfying kind) and bad sex (the adulterous or manipulative or enslaving kind) are woven throughout the narrative of God’s story.

In fact, mid-way through the Bible, He stops and writes a whole book about sex. (The Song of Solomon) As if to say, “Really, you guys, this is what you need!” Yet sadly, throughout history, people have blushed their way through the Song of Solomon, trying to pretend that He didn’t mean sex… surely!

And of course, the two of you know this. You are imbibing deeply, the honeymoon isn’t over, you’re delighting in each other and learning the language of a love you hardly knew possible.

But just in case… just to store away for another day down the road when you’re tempted to minimize intimacy because life gets in the way… I want to remind you…

Why Sex Is Really A Very Big Deal

1.  Sex creates intimacy. Sex creates a mystical moment of intimacy so intense, so momentarily out of control— that your hearts burst with the wonder of it. Together.

2.  Sex releases hormones. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, all of which flood your bodies with feelings of love during and immediately after sex. Which means that frequent, passionate sex actually keeps you feeling in love with each other.

 3.  Sex makes you nice. The vulnerability, the satisfaction, the ecstasy of sex, all combine to leave the both of you feeling… nice: full of grace, uncritical and kind.

 4.  Sex keeps you loyal. Two, now forged into one can take on the world! A woman who gives that kind of passion, a man who gives that kind of pleasure— there’s no stopping them.

 5.  Sex is thrilling. That unrestrained passion between a man and a woman who have pledged to be with each other forever is better than any other rush life has to offer.

If someone could market a pill that created intimacy, released mood enhancing hormones, made people nice, kept couples loyal, and guaranteed a rush of out-of-control but not-life-threatening thrill… they’d be rich!

And Someone has.

So please, my dear son and beautiful daughter, make sex a big deal.

A really big deal.

When it’s less than great, get help. Take someone you feel comfortable with aside and ask questions. Read books. Keep at it. Don’t stop. And whatever you do, never, ever let life get in the way of this gift God has given the two of you together, forever.

From a heart that wants your love to last and thrive over a lifetime,

Mom

For those who are reading: I will be writing about sexuality and intimacy for the next several weeks. If you have questions that you think I may be able to answer, please email me at hespeaks@gmail.com

Some great books:

1. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman

2. Intimacy Ignited by Dr. Joseph & Linda Dillow and Dr. Peter and Lorraine Pintus

3. Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus (for women)

4. Intended For Pleasure by Dr. Ed Wheat

 

Do you know of others? 

(Image by Hillary Kupish)

 

 

 



[1] see Ephesians 5v21-33

Posted
January 16
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LISTENING IN THE SILENCE

A wisp of cloud brushes the bluff towering imposingly above the silent valley; a filter softening rough edges, like the Spirit softening me. Barely there, gentle, a  cool mist rising. Whispers in the wind.

I hear Him here, in this quiet place, His voice as gentle as that cloud. Not telling, not even really saying— just soothing, stilling.

Shhh…

The tightness in my chest loosens. I breathe deep the crisp fragrance of winter’s chill.

I remember.

Shhh…

In the stillness I hear words— His words, from His Word. He paints a picture for me to see.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

And carries them close to his heart;

He gently leads…

Isaiah 40v10,11

And I do see! I see Him here, walking hills He Himself formed beneath cliffs carved of His own hands—

tending, gathering, carrying, leading… me.

Shhh…

I see myself too: that wayward, wandering, worry-filled one. The one who rolls in wrong places, wants the wrong things, the one who woke up in the early hours, fretful, fear prone, fussing.

That I am not enough, that I cannot be enough, that my not-enoughness will sink my hopes, my plans, my year ahead.

Because it’s too much and I know it. And I am too little, I know that too.  And all these things I hope to do won’t be done because I cannot and I know it and so does He.

Failure looms and I am, down deep where no one knows, afraid.

That’s when I hear the whispers; words misting, cloud like, calling…

Come, climb up here, follow Me to these heights. See what I see. There is beauty here.

But those cliffs are far away, too far. I don’t know how, don’t have time, cannot go alone.

I am not enough.

And the light dawns, my mind sees, that Spirit seeing, knowing, speaking sureness.

I cannot do, but He can. I dare not try, but He does. I am not enough, but He is.

He can accomplish what concerns me.

He does dare use me— this less-than, unable, worry-prone me— to do my “assigned task” (Mark 13v34)

He is enough, and so am I when I go to Him, listen to Him, hide in Him, abide. (John 15v5)

And now I hear. I know. I pull out that pad of lined paper- yellow because somehow it’s supposed to help me remember. New- because this is a new day, a new year, a new plan.

I ask:

Lord— Abba— Shepherd of this worried one, please—

Plan this year for me.

Write my list.

Assign my tasks.

Fill this record of my days with Your faithfulness.

Not my will— please, never that!

Just Yours.

I’m ready now— not to plan, not to project, not to pretend I can do more than I am able, but to follow.

Like His sheep: gathered close, carried, led. 

Listening,

Diane

Do you feel inadequate for the task you’ve been assigned?

  • Babies that keep you up at night and tired all day?
  • A job in a place that sinks you?
  • School too hard?
  • Relationships you can’t figure out?

Have you heard His whispers? We gather hope by knowing…

(image by Bethany Small)

Posted
January 12
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entry3

THE ENTRYWAY #3


FRIENDS: Who To Keep and How To Keep Them

A friend loves at all times…

Proverbs 17v17 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin…

Proverbs 18v24

Dear Matt and Simona,

When your dad and I married, we had no small amount of difficulty with friendships. Most of my friends were in college, most of his well into their careers. I was the first of my friends to marry, he was among the last of his to tie the knot.

Soon after we were married, a couple of my friends set about to set me straight. I was no longer acting the way I had before and so they assumed I wasn’t being me.

What they couldn’t see was that the once shy-me was gaining confidence. I was growing up, struggling to break out of my shell, wanting to learn the art of open-hearted womanhood. Being married to an extrovert, I pushed myself to try to be more like him, to break out of the bars I’d hid behind.

And, no doubt, I did it awkwardly. Being warm, open, affectionate, encouraging didn’t come naturally. I had to work hard at it, to watch and learn and get up my nerve to push beyond my reserve.

These friends didn’t like the way I’d changed, felt I ought to be someone I no longer was.

And that hurt.

I felt scrutinized, condemned, misunderstood.

And so I more or less decided to do without friends. After all, we had each other, and wasn’t that enough?

And the answer to that question is NO! It’s not enough to have each other. In fact, I would argue now that we needed friends in order to be better friends to each other.

Now I know that the problem wasn’t having friends, but the kind of friends I had. No one told me that all my friendships would change on our wedding day. And so I wasn’t prepared, didn’t know what to do with what was no longer working.

I want to share with you some things I know now that I didn’t know then.

1.  Keep friends who help you love each other better.

There are friends who demand too much of you, leaving you limp and depleted after too much time with them. Or whose caustic attitudes you catch, whose bitter viewpoints come out in the kind of sarcasm that rubs off on you.

Listen to each other about this. If one of you comes back crabby or distant from an outing with a friend, that may be a clue to be concerned about.

May I suggest that you ease away from such friends? That you protect your friendship with each other rather than allow people in who may leak their toxicity onto your love?

2.    Keep friends who help you be better.

I have a circle of friends now who make me want to be kinder, braver, stronger, gentler. We laugh and joke and cry and open our hearts to each other, but each of us knows that there are some topics that are off limits.

I have never heard any of them criticize or complain about their husbands, nor would they me allow me to gossip or vent or generally give in to ungodliness.

After I’ve been with these women, I come home ready to love my husband better- I come home more encouraging, more understanding, more willing to serve with flair and beauty.

3.   Keep friends who allow you room to grow and change.

A man or a woman who stays forever the same is pitiful, stagnant, uninteresting. Yet it is not uncommon for friends to want you to stay the same because change is also threatening. You need friends who give you room to change your ideas, your approach, your interests, your level of commitment.

Growth and change create beauty in you. Friends who allow that beauty to emerge without insisting on controlling you are treasures.

4.    Keep friends who get that your best friend is now each other.

Being best friends takes time. It takes talking, playing, doing life side-by-side. It requires planning, waiting, being there when the other needs you.

To stay best friends will require that you don’t leave each other alone too much. Which in turn will mean that your other friends will need to give you lots and lots of room to say no without lengthy explanations that come under their scrutiny.

Hang on to those friends who want more than anything for your friendship with each other to stay strong.

And remember this: 

No one gets to come through that Front Door without your invitation.

You decide who to welcome into the Entry of the house you are building together.

Some friends will come often, some every once in a while, and some will not survive the changes that your marriage brings. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you— or them. It’s just the way of life. A natural consequence of growth in you and in your friends.

Some friends are for a short season, a few are for a long time, but the two of you… are friends forever.

From my heart,

Mom

P.S. For those who are listening: Do you have friends who help make your marriage better? How do they do that? What would you advise for those who want to say friends after marriage?

 

(image by Hillary Kupish)

Posted
December 22
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entry2

THE ENTRYWAY #2

Dear Matt and Simona,

Last week I wrote these words:

“Your giving of yourselves to each other before God is unleashing changes in the fundamental essence of who you arehow you livewhat you do… and what you don’t do.”

I reminded you that “Paul called it a “profound mystery”, this loving and leading, this two becoming one, this dance to the sometimes discordant music of romance and real life.”

And then I paused… because our house feels so empty without you.

Our Christmas tree is too perfect. Not one discordant peep of your crazy Santa ornament collection to offset all that shiny and silver.

Did I really dream about this day-of-the-perfect-tree?

Because I am learning now that just as sometimes the steps to this dance are confusing for the two of you, it can be confusing to those who love you too.

This idea of your not-the-same-as-you-were-ness is unsettling…

to the parents who taught you to walk…

to the sisters and brothers who ran and played and prayed and poured into you…

to the friends who learned to lean on you before you became we.

The writer of Hebrews wrote that “Marriage should be honored by all…” but in real life the mystery of how can lead to mistakes.

No one has this figured out perfectly.

So… since I am writing these letters to help the two of you live wisely and well in this new thing called marriage, I am asking myself some questions. Because… it’s one thing to believe all these truths about oneness in theory… and quite another to know it in the space that is left empty by reality.

How do the two-of-you-who-are-now-one handle all the people who love you and want the two of you to remain two… and the same?

How does this new entity that is MatthewSimonaComer (MSC) open the Front Door and welcome all these people into the entryway of your home? And how can you do this welcoming without allowing anyone to hinder you from what you are becoming?

And I’ve mulled and I’ve pondered and I’ve made a list lest I mess this one up by inserting myself into the equation. Because I am one of those people; missing those Santas on my tree, knowing those years are over… and not yet fully seeing what will be.

Ways to Be Wisely Welcoming:

1.  Establish the new you.

You are a new family, just the two of you, a whole new line of generations. When your family tree is drawn you will sit at the top, linked to each other. You will be connected to your families with a broken line.

Be that. Be MatthewSimonaComer. Don’t apologize or pretend about this new reality. Be together. Talk together. Sit together. Establish in every one’s minds this new entity.

2.  Chart a new way.

Now is the time to start some of your own traditions. Some will involve family and some won’t. That is for the two of you to decide together. You get this chance to forge your own new ways of doing things. Have fun with it!

3.  Teach and train.

One of the wisest relational bits of advice I have ever heard came from your son-in-law, Steve. He puts it this way:

You teach people how to treat you.

In other words, you dare not be a passive pushover. It is your job to lovingly teach and train your family to see you as this newly defined entity.

4.  Be patient with the process.

To resist change is an instinctual human defense mechanism. It may take time for some of your people to adapt themselves to this new you. They didn’t expect it. They just thought you were adding someone to their fun. They had no clue that everything changed the day you said, “I do”.

5.  Tell them why.

Otherwise you run the risk of deeply hurting and inadvertently alienating people who love you.

Explain that you’re still figuring it out, that you love them, that they are important to you, that you need time to readjust your rhythm while you learn to walk as one.

Make sure they know—and that you know they know— that you are not rejecting your heritage. Instead, you are building on the foundation your family painstakingly laid for you.

6.  Reach out.

In order to make all this easier to swallow, you’ll need to be the ones to initiate relationship with family. It is up to you to reach out.

The people who have loved you the longest are waiting for permission to step into your new lives as MSC.  This oneness can be uncomfortable for those who don’t know their place.

And one last thing to remember…

Family Is Forever

Many, if not most, of your friends will eventually fade out of your everyday life. They’ll move or you will. Their values won’t fit well with yours. You’ll slowly grow apart. You’ll change jobs, move, go to different churches, develop new interests.

But your family… they are in your life right up until they go to be with Jesus. They are the ones who will be there for you when the chips are down, when you make mistakes. They are not only your past… they are your future.

Remember that, Matt and Simo. As uncomfortable as the growing up is, as hard as you may have to struggle to get them to see you as no longer two but one, as much as they might drive you nutty— these are the ones who will love you no matter what.

Merry Christmas dear ones.

From my heart,

Mom

P.S. To those who are reading: 

Can you tell us how you’ve learned to welcome family into your marriage without losing your new identity as two-become-one? What does that look like?

Disclaimer:  I know that there are families that become so toxic that being close can threaten the health of your marriage. That’s not what I am talking about here. If that is our reality, I urge you to seek godly counsel as to your best course of action. Don’t wait until your family’s dysfunction destroys your love.

(image by Hillary Kupish)

Posted
December 19
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ice

DO NOT FEAR… and other words about listening to God

Dear ones,

I woke up this morning wanting to go back to sleep.

Ever have those days?

It’s a rare feeling for me, an inveterate morning person. As I lay there wondering what in the world was wrong with me, I sensed that whispered truth from the One who knows me better than I know myself.

You’re afraid.

I knew His words to be true, though it hadn’t dawned on me all through the restless night. And hearing Him, I felt that instant relief I’ve come to recognize as my soul’s visceral response to His words to me.

The fear had to do with my plans for the morning. After months of writing and years of living my story, I’ve finally got it all on paper. For the past several weeks an editor has been waving her magic wand over my words, asking me questions, filling in gaps, challenging my assertions, making sure I am writing true and getting the story right.

Waiting for me on my desk is the final edit.

And I am scared. Nervous. Worried.

Feeling once again those all too familiar feelings of not-enoughness.

The inadequacy that has haunted every step of writing my story kept me bound to my bed this morning instead of bouncing out to my writing cabin with joy. 

I pulled myself out from under the covers, made a pot of tea, and sat by the fire Phil had made, eyeing my cabin out the window with dread.

Since my Bible was waiting by the backdoor instead of in its usual place by my chair in my cabin under the trees, I settled in to the safety of this place where I never write.

I sat in Phil’s chair. Sipped tea, and waited.

Silence.

No words, more dread.

I’ll just spend this day wrapping. I need to wrap, after all. I’ll get to my book later.

Relief… sort of.

Opening my Bible on my way to where I left off the day before, my eyes caught these title words: Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man.

My heart froze.

That’s me! I am that paralyzed man. Paralyzed by fear, haunted by feelings of inadequacy, knowing deep down that I’m not good enough, smart enough, responsible enough. Convinced that I have failed again to meet my own standards of perfection. I am hog-tied by that knowing that I am not as good as I wish I was— at anything.

I read the story. No, that’s not right…

I inhaled the story.

It’s that story I have been drawn to over and over again. I’ve taught on it, written about it, researched words and deciphered my way through dusty tombs written by men with strings of letters after their names.

But this time I did what I’ve been doing a lot lately; I followed the rabbit trails of references the translators leave behind.

I wanted to know more of what Jesus meant when he said to the man: “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mt. 9v2 NIV)

The trail led me first to these words: “…in this world you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16v33 NIV)

Take heart. I have overcome your trouble.

Ah… peace chasing fear away.

His peace. Given as a gift through His words…

His words to me, the fear prone daughter of Royalty. The one who forgets that she’s not alone- never alone.

This child of His, whose soul struggles to get it right. To believe. To fully entrust every bit of me to Him.

But it gets better, this listening.

The reference trail led me, strangely enough, to Romans:

“… in all these things you are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8v37 NIV)

Oh yes! I forgot! Again

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME!

That’s why I’m afraid, because I’m stuck back in that thinking, that wrong thinking, that my story is about me.

Sure, it’s my story… but the truth is, my story is all about Him— what He did, how He speaks, how He is teaching me to hear.

And, my dear anxious ones…

Your story isn’t about you either.

Your story is all about Jesus engulfing you in His great love and hiding you there.

Your story, and mine too, is about how in all things

“God works for the good of those who love Him,

who have been called according to His purpose.

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…

and those He predestined He also called;

those He called,

He also justified;

those He justified,

He also glorified.”

(Romans 8v28,29 NIV)

He also glorified. 

Once again that heart-halting sense of His speaking to me, through me, for me. 

What? Lord, isn’t it me who is supposed to be glorifying You?

Yes. That’s right.

What am I missing? Why is my heart beating wildly at this thought? Could it be true that You want to glorify me? That’s crazy!

And I’m laughing now because I know it’s true! I feel His smile, that chuckle of the One who so persistently leads us into truth.

And here it is, all unwrapped:

When I tuck myself into Him. Purposely listening, yielding, obeying, wanting His truth to be the truest truth— He actually glorifies me.

Gosh.

In Him I am better than I am.

In Him I am freed to be who He designed me to be.

In Him I am adequate.

Paul’s words in I Corinthians break through to add octane to my wonder:

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”

(I Corinthians 3v4,5 NASB)

Which means that, Lord…

My adequacy is from You.

Smile. Joy. Wonder. A gift so lavish I cannot get over it.

And then I scurried to write it all down for you, my dear ones. To remind you again, all of you who are haunted by fears, hunted by an enemy whose fiery arrows (“flaming missiles” in the NASB) sting and wound and threaten to relegate you to the injured list, that…

Hid in Him you are enough!

That, in fact, He wants to use you to tell His story to a whole world that doesn’t yet know that it is Him— Jesus— they are craving as they spend their moments and their money accumulating.

This is what I mean when I talk about listening to God.

When I say that He speaks in the silence. He does! He really does!

From one who is learning to hear and wanting you to know,

Diane

P.S. Read it for yourself in Matthew 9v1-8, then again in Mark 2v3-12 and then get the details in Luke 5v18-26.

 

Posted
December 15
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THE ENTRYWAY #1

Dear Matthew and Simona,

This is your first Christmas.

Not ever— but together… as two who are now one.

All the other Christmases you’ve experienced have been about Matthew. Or Simona. Or Matthew trying to catch Simona… and Simona (in the words of my less-than-subtle mother) “running just fast enough to get caught”!

This Christmas is not about any of that. The wedding is planned and accomplished, photographed and photo-shopped. The honeymoon is over and done with remnants of beautiful memories tucked away in boxes.

This Christmas is your first as ONE.

It is about the ONE you are becoming; the forging of Matt into Simo and Simo into Matt. This Christmas is about becoming MatthewSimonaComer. MSC.

How can it be that one ceremony, a few words of promise, a signature on a document, can change everything? Can change you?

Can change Christmas?

When each of you chose to entwine your life with the other, it was more than merely an act of commitment—those vows you spoke were a decision.

Though you could not have fully understood all the implications of that decision, the dawning of what it meant is now changing the way you do life.

Your giving of yourselves to each other before God is unleashing changes in the fundamental essence of…

who you are

how you live

what you do

and…

what you don’t do.

This ideal of two becoming one has chafed for centuries. It’s never been easy. In fact many take issue with this idea. Because, let’s be honest, this two melding into one is…

hard…

humbling…

inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Two becoming one goes against the grain of all that independence and individuality we fight for so furiously.

Two becoming one is fraught with giving up… giving in… working it out, choosing.

Jesus said it succinctly:

“Haven’t you read… at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said,

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6

The joining of Matthew to Simona and Simona to Matthew is both a mission and a mystery.

Somehow, in some way we can only see in snatches, the blending of the two of you into ONE hints at the bending of God come down— His mission, first glimpsed by Mary with a babe in her arms.

This blending of the two of you mirrors God’s love-fueled determination to set His bride free of all that came between His heart and ours.

And more…

This forming of something beautiful in the blending of two into one hints at the mystery of a God who created us with the capacity, the need, to live in Him.

To be ONE with Him.

Paul called it a “profound mystery”, this loving and leading, this two becoming one, this dance to the sometimes discordant music of romance and real life.

My dear son and daughter, may I just ask you to take a moment and think about that? To ponder that profound mystery… to allow yourselves to see who you are becoming?

And more:

Will you give yourselves grace when this forging is harder than you’d thought it would be?

This losing of yourselves to find who you really are— together— is never easy; it takes time, it takes talking, it takes thinking through.

And it takes forever.

Loving you both, and loving the emerging of who you are,

Merry-almost-Christmas!

From my heart,

Mom

P.S. To those who are listening.. Is it worth it? This work of giving up and giving in and giving to each other? Are you learning to be who you really are in the midst of becoming One? Can you tell us about it? Your stories make truth real.