As the conversation with my friend lingered, we discussed some experiences in my marriage. I made reference to taking baby steps. I find this best illustrated by the time when my youngest daughter started walking. While learning she wavered between excitement of each step and frustration at each fall. She would get so upset with herself that at one point she stopped walking and resorted back to her “army crawl” – she arrived at her destination much faster.
I suppose it’s fair to say that most of us don’t like baby steps. It takes too much time and the results aren’t always what we expected. Everything around us wants it now.
When my friend asked me to explain what I meant by taking baby steps in her marriage, several experiences flooded my heart that I shared with her:
- We think we know the motivations and intentions of our hearts, but not really. King David, a man after God’s heart, prayed, “Lord, create in me a clean heart, and show me if there is any wicked way in me.” Only the Spirit of God exposes the true intents and motivations of the heart.
- How we speak exposes what’s in our heart – unforgivness, disrespect, hurt, and bitterness.
Troubled by my thoughts , she wondered if every couple really thinks about all this when they are speaking to one another and the amount of effort it would take to do so!
My study in Isaiah continued and when I arrived at chapter 32:15-17 I felt like the Spirit was onto something: Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high…then justice will dwell in the wilderness…the work of righteousness will be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
That’s it, the work of righteousness, God’s righteousness in us, revealed through each baby step brings forth not only knowledge of Him but assurance that He is working together all for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose (Romans 8:28).
Every step taken in obedience and love brings peace and wisdom.
I went on to encourage her that there was no simple solution or quick fix to the ins and outs of our hearts. What we do know is that when we desire to please God, especially in marriage, since it symbolizes His relationship with the Church, that He responds.
Yes there are many verses on marriage, and surely we do well to obey. At times, though, those verses didn’t speak to the aching cry of my heart from the wounds of the one I love most.
I understand more the beauty that comes from walking each step. I am still not a fan of baby steps and I can be impatient with my husband’s baby steps. But despite the temptation to take shortcuts like my daughter, I continue to discover that God will never short change me, He doesn’t lie and He always brings peace and hope to my impatience and weariness.