Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Marriage (page 2 of 3)

The Beauty of My Wife

** This is written as part of the series 30 for 30: Reflections on Life at My 30th Birthday **

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Today I just wanted to follow up on yesterday’s anniversary thoughts with a brief note on the beauty of my wife. Regardless of anyone else’s evaluation of her, I know Stacey to be the most beautiful woman in the world. I know that because she lets me see her heart. I have the unique privilege, of all the men on the earth, to know my wife intimately on a personal, emotional, and spiritual level.

Here’s how the appreciation of beauty is related to relationship, specifically friendship:

The world thinks we idealize our friend, and tells us that love is proverbially blind. Not so: it is only love that sees…. We only see what dull eyes never see at all. If we wonder what another man sees in his friend, it should be the wonder of humility, not the supercilious wonder of pride. He sees something which we are not permitted to witness. Beneath and amongst what looks only like worthless slag, there may glitter the pure gold of a fair character. That anybody in the world should be got to love us, and to see in us not what colder eyes see, not even what we are but what we may be, should of itself make us humble and gentle in our criticism of others’ friendships. Our friends see the best in us, and by that very fact call forth the best from us. — Hugh Black, Friendship

If that is true in friendship, then how much more in marriage. Beneath whatever flaws anyone else might see, what I see is ‘the pure gold of a fair character… the very best’ in her. Love is not blind; love sees truly, more than what others are permitted to witness. As we have lived together, talked together, and seen each other in all manner of circumstances these past seven years, I consider it a privilege like no other to be granted access to my wife’s heart–to see what makes her so beautiful. The more I come to know her, the more I stand back and rejoice in her beauty.

I’m sure you men who are married would say the same of your wives. To see her heart is to see something so tender, so precious, so gentle and loving and kind that it is hard to put words to it.

I think that in experiencing this, we’re beginning to taste something of the heart of God. 1 Peter 3.4 says to women: ‘Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.’ Where once I spoke of ‘inner beauty’ with a vague idea of what it meant, after living with my beautiful wife these past seven years, I think my hard-heart (and hard-head!) is finally beginning to get it. And what I see is glorious. It makes me love my wife like I never thought I could. And it makes me love my God even more.

A Must-Hear Sermon

It is very easy to get used to hearing excellent, biblical, engaging preaching every week. Praise the Lord that solid preaching is the norm, not the exception, at Grace Fellowship Church!

That being said, yesterday was an exception–God blessed the preaching of his word in remarkable ways so that it came with great with even more conviction and clarity than normal.

If you are married, ever intend on being married, want to know more about gospel-centred marriage, or know someone who is married, I cannot recommend enough that you listen to this sermon on gospel-centred marriage. You will be convicted and your soul will be blessed and encouraged as you think about how Christ’s glory displayed in the gospel is the reason and power for marriage.

Looking for a Spouse?

If you are single and looking for a spouse, here is some sound advice from Pastor Tim Kerr of Sovereign Grace Church Toronto. You know a man believes these things if that’s what he’s telling his daughter. Check out what he’s got to say:

Pastor Tim Kerr on What to Look for in a Spouse

Remembering Five Years Ago

* UPDATE, 3/12/09 * The embedded media player has been disabled because some silly people still use Internet Explorer and apparently it was playing the music all the time. You can download the mp3 here and listen to it with your own player. Sorry for the inconvenience! *

1833 days ago, I made the best decision I’ve ever made. On January 24, 2004, I proposed to the love of my life. I was astonished when she said ‘Yes.’

Come to think of it, she never actually did say ‘Yes,’ but she did hug me, so I took that as a good sign. Turns out I was right to assume she meant to say yes because she actually married me. By the grace of God, we were married that summer (June 19, 2004), after 5 excruciatingly long months of engagement and anticipation of taking my bride.

Tonight my bride is out of town with some of her friends on a mini-retreat of sorts. That leaves me at home alone listening to love songs and pining after her. Seriously.

In particular, ‘Astonished,’ by Kepano Green caught my attention tonight as I was finishing up the dishes. It tells the story of meeting a girl, falling in love–being amazed by love–and beginning a life together. That gave me pause to reflect back on the days when I first began to fall in love with my wife.

I think their word is ultimately suitable. I was ‘astonished.’ I remember that after each date, when I was driving home, I would think to myself, ‘How can this be real? How could God have blessed me with this amazing woman? Why in the world does she seem to like me too?’

After we’d been dating for about a month or two, I wrote her a poem. I never showed it to her until the night when I proposed, though, because it talked about us being married, beginning a family, and loving Christ together till old age. I waited to show her to protect her heart, but I knew from the outset that she was the one for me.

I don’t think it took Adam very long to figure out that Eve was his completion (Gen 2.22-23), and it didn’t take me long either. I know it doesn’t work that way for some people, but I knew as soon as I met Stacey that God had made her to be my glory (1 Cor 11.7).

Tonight, five years later, I remain astonished at no less than three things.

  1. I’m astonished that she still loves me.
  2. Time after time I have sinned against my bride. Over and over again some horrid sin has overtaken me, or some deep-rooted sinful heart idolatry has been exposed, and I’ve thought, ‘That’s it; she can’t possibly love me anymore. I’m absolutely unlovable.’ But every single time she has shown me love and forgiveness that I can’t justify or rationalize. Her love for me has been gospel-love: undeserved and overwhelming. It is enduring and steadfast and forgiving. I’m astonished she still loves me.

  3. I’m astonished that I could let a love so extraordinary become ‘ordinary.’
  4. Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years. As time goes past, the things that were once unexpected become expected. Things that were novel become mundane. I begin to expect things from her that I have no right expecting. I don’t know how, but somehow in my apathy, I get used to ‘being in love.’ The admonition I once found superfluous has now become a rebuke: ‘Rejoice in the wife of your youth’ (Prov 5.18). God forgive me for taking for granted a love that you have so graciously given.

  5. I’m astonished at the wisdom and mercy of God in giving her to me.
  6. Of all the lessons I have learned over the past five years since I have proposed, this may well be the one I’ve learned the most number of times: God made her for me. She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She is the one created to be at my side. She completes me. She is perfect for me. The wisdom of God in giving her to me is mind-blowing. The areas where she is strong compensate for my weaknesses; her few flaws are in areas where I can assist her, by God’s grace. And those areas where we are both weak have caused me to grow in my sanctification in ways that I never would have been motivated to, had God not given her to me. Day after day, year after year, I’m increasingly astonished at the wisdom of God in creating her to be the perfect partner for me.

Praise God for his grace! Tonight I’m praising him for my wife.

Click here to go to Kepano Green’s site and buy their CDs. Here are the words to their song ‘Astonished.’

Oh the first time I wrote your name on a paper, you were astonished
And we went down and ate by the sea and there you were astonished
When in so many words, I told you how my heart was yours
And me, the stranger, finding favour, there… in your eye

We watched stars and they crossed there in the sky, look there, well I was astonished
And you grew in my heart every night and I was astonished
So I wrote in the air how I was feeling, you wondered what I’d said
Though unaware we were beginning something that would never, never end

I have evidence framed in my room… there you stood so astonished
When I asked you to be with me soon, oh, you were astonished
And I promise you there, we were not dreaming, diamonds were on the sea
And we were aware that this was beginning something that was surely meant to be

News on the Release of Fireproof in Canada

Finally, some good news on the release of Fireproof, the movie, in Canada. The following was submitted by Greg McCombs:

Good news for the Canadian release of Fireproof. The Canadian Marriage & Family Network along with several partner organizations is helping to bring Fireproof to a Canadian church near you. Sony Pictures has rejected a theatrical release but is releasing the movie to Canada through the Church. We will begin with pre-screenings in early December and January and release the movie through church kits in late January and beyond. We are praying the movie will have lasting impact through the follow up small group material as well as the Love Dare book that is featured in the movie. If you are interested in hosting a pre-screening your church please contact Greg McCombs at cmfn@me.com and let me know where in Canada you are and the potential number of leaders/pastors/staff and spouses that could attend. This could have a profound impact on the marriages of our country.

This is good news indeed! Please contact Greg for all followup questions.

In other Fireproof news, the DVD is set for release on January 27. You can preorder from here. Enjoy!
fireproofbanner

Fireproof, the Movie

If you live in the States, this will be of particular interest to you. If you, like me, live in Canada… then it may or may not be. 

The move titled Fireproof (website, Challies dot com review) will be released all throughout the States (but apparently not in Canada) in two weeks. I was able to go preview this movie with TIm back in July–and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ll be the first person to say that I was not expecting much. I was expecting even less when I heard that all the actors in the movie were volunteers and amateurs (i.e. they are not paid for acting in this movie). I expected less still when I heard that the movie company was started by a church. But when the movie began, I was very pleasantly surprised.

The action scenes were phenomenal–especially given the budget with which the film was made. The acting was quite good through most of the movie (although, admittedly, some of the secondary characters were noticeably amateur). The plot was somewhat predictable, but intriguing nonetheless, and there are one or two great little twists that make it just that much more of a tear-jerker by the end.

I’m no movie critic, but really, neither are you if you’re reading this, so take my word for it: this is a great date movie. Take your significant other out and enjoy this movie. It ties marriage and our need for Christ together quite well. Even the gospel presentation is remarkably well done, considering it’s context in a movie.

Check out the trailer below.

Dinner Conversation

Okay, maybe this is only funny if you know us, but here’s an excerpt from tonight’s dinner conversation.

Julian: ‘Having a wife is like living with a post-modern literary critic: the only meaning that matters is the one determined by the hearer.’

Stacey: ‘Living with you is like living with a geek.’

I laughed pretty hard.

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