Pre-Wedding Cultivating

cul·ti·vate

ˈkəltəˌvāt/

verb

1. prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening

2. try to acquire or develop

apply oneself to improving or developing

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Coming back to Virginia from Oklahoma for the wedding I have been absolutely elated. One month of not being with Isaac was HARD, so just standing next to him was good enough for me. We drove and ate ice cream and laughed our heads off. After only a couple of days, I thought we were completely back to normal.

I realized after a couple of days though that there were times when we were both getting a little confused with each other. Before I had left, we had found a system of purposeful interaction with each other. We knew when to stop and talk, when to pray, when to run and when to wait for God… most of the time. The grace of God sustained a lot of that in order to keep our relationship strong a thousand miles apart these last few months, but it still looked different now coming back home.

I started thinking about this new dilemma we were facing and had some pretty weighty realizations…

  • What hard questions have we asked each other lately?
  • How have we encouraged each other on a deeper level?
  • How have we praised God for His work in us and the way He has grown us here recently?
  • How were we cultivating our relationship in the midsts of all of this?
  • How have we been intentional about each other’s growth in Christ?
  • Were we still prioritizing the focus of our relationship with God above all wedding craziness?

It’s SO easy to get caught up in wedding excitement, but regardless of what phase in life you’re in, it’s not bad to have conversations that make you a little upset. We’re human. We get offended easily. Our jobs though are not to make each other happy all the time. God created us for this relationship as helpmates to support each other in Him and His work. If we were just happy go lucky 24/7 we would never grow and never change. The wedding is so close and consumes so much of our minds, but shouldn’t the majority of our preparation for it be the cultivating our relationship part?

At the beginning of our relationship God taught us to pray for hard things. He was always faithful to give them to us and just as faithful to carry us through them. We knew He wanted to make us stronger. I’ve found that the further you get into a relationship the harder it is to pray for that. We get comfortable. We fear the stability being shaken. Really though, I think it’s even more important down the road. We don’t need to be comfortable if we stand secure in Christ! We should always be desiring for Him to flip our world upside down just to teach us more about Himself. I want that.

Relationships aren’t meant to be easy and neither is life for Christ, but God uses them both to bring so much blessing and so much purpose. You have to be intentional about seeking that though. The devil can and will use your comfort against you. Us being intentional in our relationship doesn’t mean noticing each other’s every quirk and feature though. Rather it means us being careful to notice when the purpose that we share shifts in our heads or we prioritize falsely, and then us taking the Christ covered action steps to fix it.

I know I might be making this all sounds incredible light, but there is so much grace involved in this process. You can imagine that pointing out flaws in our relationship or things that don’t settle with us can be a touchy subject. We so strive to douse these conversations in an attitude of grace and so much prayer… we don’t always achieve that… but thankfully God has WAY more grace than we ever could. He holds up the grace part when we’re both down for the count.

I love our little relationship of holding Gods hand together while we fall time and time again and practice getting back up stronger. I just want you all to realize though that we are not as “put together” as we might seem (or not seem). We have grown to so love the process though of watching the God who put us together make us more like Him despite all of our flaws and failures.

It’s all beautiful if it’s all Him.

Lots of falling.

Lots of failing.

Forever striving to cultivate with grace 🌻

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