At the risk of sounding like an incredibly sappy wife, I must admit that my absolute favorite person to hang out with is Stephen Andrew. Exploring is one of our favorite things to do–something we haven’t been able to do much of since moving to Phoenix. Don’t worry, someday we’ll make it to Sedona, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon. What we like most is finding tucked-out-of-the-way places that ooze with local culture.
But, in the meantime, we’ll enjoy the little bit of Phoenix around us until we can move on to further away places. We discovered this new little smoothie/sandwich joint, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe the other day thanks to some coupons I got from work. I tried the Rockin’ Raspberry smoothie. It was yummy, but don’t try it if you aren’t a fan of raspberry seeds. Stephen braved the Pomegranate Plunge. I tried a sip of his, and it was sweeter than mine. Soooooo good!
Hanging out together means talking politics, fashion, theology, decorating, sports, history, technology, relationships, math, parenting, current events–it’s all thrown in there for good measure. How my little universe has expanded since teaming up with a man like Stephen! He teaches me many things, but more importantly, he disciples me. My understanding of the character of God is has grown so much since marrying Stephen. We listened to a sermon the other day about a gospel-centered marriage. One point the speaker stressed was the importance of a husband taking on the responsibility of making his wife spiritually gorgeous by discipling her in the Word. After all, Ephesians 5:25-28 states,
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Together we’ve read a book entitled When Sinners Say ‘I Do’. If you’re looking for a good book that expounds on what a gospel-centered marriage should look like, we recommend this gem. In fact, the book is practical for anyone–married or single–since it deals with how to handle the sin we find in our own hearts. The Gospel is not something to be set aside after salvation, rather it is to be lived out in the dish-washing, car-maintaining, diaper-changing lives we lead every day.
Author Dave Harvey puts it this way:
This ongoing need for the Savior is exactly what professing Christians must hang on to. The cross makes a stunning statement about husbands and wives: we are sinners and our only hope is grace. Without a clear awareness of sin, we will evaluate our conflicts outside of the biblical story–the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross–thus eliminating any basis for true understanding, true reconciliation, or true change.
I’m thankful for a marriage which enables me to better understand the gospel. A marriage that is joyful as Stephen and I grow in our “oneness.” A marriage that means I get to hang out with my best friend every day!