12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Leading up to getting married I did a lot of reading and studying.
Yes, my geeky-ness is showing...
but let’s thinking of it in a Disney princess way… imagine Belle before falling in love with the beast who turns into a handsome prince…You remember in the beginning of the movie, where Belle has her nose in her book reading as she is walking through town – going to the library and market I might add! I love a girl who enjoys the market and a good book! Remember all the townspeople are singing about her weirdness… or shall we say ‘Belle-ness’!
So in my pre-wedding 'Belle-ness' I read great books. The Antelope in the Living: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life by Melanie Shankle. His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard R. Jr. Harley. I re-read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Uncommon Marriage by Tony & Lauren Dungy with Nathan Whitaker. Plus, countless blogs and lots of scripture. While there was so much
to take in and so many other books out there I wanted to read, I am so thankful for the time I spent in God's word.
I read scripture like that above with a new outlook...
'Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved' - Me. I'm elected by God. Chosen by Him. Through Him I have been made holy and truly loved. I am a daughter of the Almighty King. I am His princess. Am I making choices like all of this is reality? Do I love like He loves me? Are my actions proof that I am His?
'Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering'
Mercy. God gives me tender mercy. Am I giving that to others? Am I prepared to show mercy daily as a wife, a daughter-in-law, a new family member, a new neighbor, a new employee.
Kindness. Kindness on the outside is good, but I believe kindness is meant to be from the inside-out. Yes, my actions and words are kinds but are my thoughts?Are my feelings? Are the inner most desires of my heart?
Humility - I often think a stereotypical view of humility is to be quiet and thankful for what we are. Notice how meekness is next? It is there on it's own. That is proof enough that 'humility' is not meekness as we often interchange the two. God has been revealing so much about humility to me. Often it is not soft and meek.
Meekness and long-suffering - I don't think it is ironic these two are side by side. Meekness builds on humility and long suffering on meekness. As Christians we need to have meekness as preparation for our suffering.
When I hear 'put on' I think of clothing... and what gal doesn't like jazzing up clothes with accessories!? I don't want to make this scripture mean something it doesn't. I believe God's inspired word is truly the Living Word in that it lives. It grows. It carries different meaning for different people, and I believe God meant to use His Holy Spirit and His Living Word to provide us guidance throughout all our different stages and phases in life.
In preparing to be a Christian wife and as a way to remember this scripture anew, I literally imagine putting on and wearing tender mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, and long suffering. Sure there are days it seems that I forgot to wear that robe of righteousness or that cloak of humility. There are definitely days I want to yank off that watch that is meant to remind me the suffering will be long. No matter how hard it maybe to accessorize like God's princess, everyday I want to strive to be clothed as God has called me to be - in His righteousness and truth.