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Caring for Body and Soul

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"There are only two ways to live
your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is, as if everything is a miracle."

--Albert Einstein

You Are Her Prince Charming

by Lysa TerKeurst

Almost every woman can recall a time during her girlhood when she dreamed of a prince who would ride into her life, sweep her off her feet, and carry her off into the sunset. It happened for Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, and the list goes on. Our minds are programmed from a young age that it will happen to us. Then one day you came, probably not on a horse, but nonetheless you came, her Prince Charming.

The only thing is, in the storybooks, the prince and his beloved ride off into the sunset while the words "and they lived happily ever after" dance across the page. We never hear how things go after that. The falling in love part is fun, but what about after the storybook wedding? Did they have to work through personality differences and financial struggles? Did either of them have morning breath? Did she gain a few unwanted pounds and did his thick hair ever thin? Did they have differing opinions about child rearing, churchgoing, or whether a cookie is better with chocolate chunks or chocolate chips?

Chances are they did, and our marriages do too. It is appropriate that we call the process of romance "falling in love." That gives us a clue that it's not going to be easy the whole way through. Think about the word falling. Have you ever heard of someone falling into anything without a few bumps and bruises?

For some there are more bumps and bruises than others. Art and I have had more than our share. One thing we've learned is how important it is for each of us to rely on God's steadfast, never-changing love. While we love each other deeply, there always will be ways our love for each other falls short. You see, only God can be God. If our love for each other were altogether perfect and fulfilling, we wouldn't need God. Only God can give you what your deepest longings cry out for.

Some people search their whole lives for the perfect "soulmate," thinking if they found just the right match, all their needs would be met and they would finally be happy. In our throwaway society, many marriages are discarded when one or both partners realize their partner cannot meet their expectations. But no human relationship can fill the God-sized void we all have in our hearts.

Stan and his wife, Molly, were friends of ours for several of our early marriage years. They were active in church and even leaders in our Sunday school class where Stan led a men's accountability group and was respected for his extensive knowledge of the Bible. On the outside their marriage seemed picture-perfect. They had a thriving business, were devoted church members, had a growing family, and enjoyed what seemed to be a happy marriage.

But unbeknownst to his wife or any of us, tiny cracks were forming in Stan's foundation. While he had lots of God in his head, he had lots of questions in his heart. He grew restless and discontent. Soon he'd rationalized his way into the arms of another woman. Before long he left Molly, his children, and his church family for this seemingly perfect love that he'd found. We were all stunned, and Molly was left devastated and heartbroken.

What was Stan looking for? He was looking to have his deepest heart cries answered and fulfilled. For a time it seemed this new relationship was going to meet his needs, right all his wrongs, and bring excitement into his life. Maybe for a while its pleasures seemed promising. But then the excitement waned and the newness wore off, and Stan started seeking pleasure in yet another woman's arms.

I don't know what ever happened to Stan but I do know this: He will never find what he's looking for until he enters into a real relationship with the Lord. A relationship where his head knowledge of God is matched by his heart's surrender to Him. Only God can fill a man's deepest desires and prove to be unfailing in every way. Beth Moore says, "The Word of God uses the phrase unfailing love thirty-two times, and not once is it attributed to humans. Every single use of the phrase refers to God and God alone. As rich as is the love that others can extend, only God's love is unfailing."

Do you ever catch yourself wondering if the grass might be greener in other pastures? Do you ever feel restless and discontented? Do you ever spend more time focusing on the negatives of your wife more than her positives? This is dangerous ground. Satan is waiting to trap you in these kinds of feelings. Colossians 3:1-4 (New International Version) says, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

Did you catch that? You are an heir of the King.

You are a prince, not made in the likeness of a storybook fairytale character but made in the likeness of almighty God. You will appear with Christ "in glory." Therefore, set your mind and heart on thinking thoughts that honor Christ. Colossians 3:12-15 instructs us by saying, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts."

In my NIV Life Application Study Bible, the commentary on these verses says, "The word rule comes from the language of athletics: Paul tells us to let Christ's peace be the umpire or referee in our hearts. Our hearts are the center of conflict because there our feelings and desires clash: our fears and hopes, distrust and trust, jealousy and love. How can we live with these constant conflicts and live as God wants? Paul explains that we must decide between conflicting elements using the rule of peace. Which choice will promote peace in our souls?"

Will you choose the heart of your princess over all others?

What choices are YOU in the process of making regarding your marriage?

Will you take your rightful place as a Prince of the King?

Will you remain faithful in your pursuit of godliness?

If so, your marriage will be a beautiful example that happily-ever-afters really do exist.

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The following list of on-line cookie recipes was making the circuits a few years back in Christmas mailers. I was fascinated by it then and still am so I thought I would share it with those of you who love cookies.

Chill the milk and let's begin.