Saturday, May 1, 2010

What did you expect?

I've been reading a lot this month, the Gospels, Acts, Dig Down Deep by Josh Harris, Same Kind of Different as Me and What Difference Do it Make, two books by Ron Hall and Denver Moore...and now, this week I started one titled "What Did You Expect? - Redeeming the Realities of Marriage" by Paul David Tripp.   I'm in the 4th chapter of 17 and already it is worth the price of the book.  Perhaps I'll write a review when I'm done,  but for today I just want to highlight his chapter he called "Whose Kingdom?" 

I bought this book totally on a whim off an internet add (Though mostly a planner, I do have a bit of a spontaneous side).  I had read two other books by this author and very much liked them both (War of Words and Age of Opportunity), so I simply wanted to see what he would write about marriage.  Though happy in my marriage, and quite thankful to God for Mike, I do not doubt we have room to grow for our increased joy and for God's glory.  I thought this book might be good for a bit of a tune up, and already Mr. Tripp has given me much to ponder and set to right.

In asking the question "Whose Kingdom?", Mr. Tripp addresses the reality that much marital strife is rooted in the more foundational battle with God over whose kingdom we are committed to serving (our own or His).  We have our dreams and welcome God as the One who can make them happen, and we marry the one we think will help us fulfill our plan.  All looks and feels fine as long as our dream is being realized, but when we are committed to our own dream instead of chasing after God Himself and His plans for our lives, He is gracious in bringing conflict...sometimes severe conflict...not because He doesn't want us to be happy, but because He knows better than we do that happiness that is lasting and satisfying is found in trusting and obeying and enjoying Him and walking in the plans He has for us (His plans are ALWAYS better than the ones we conjur up...He, after all, is infinite in knowledge, power, wisdom, goodness, love, etc...we are finite and ask yourself who really is more trustworthy to come up with the best plans for the life He has given you?).  Is it possible to see conflict as a gift from God designed to move us to abandon our plans and to return us to Himself?  Can we stop ourselves the next time coldness begins to enter our relationship with our spouse and ask "whose Kingdom am I serving right now?"

Like a rat in a maze, I've learned this truth over and over again...but it was good to see it in print with such clarity, reminding me once again to commit each day to getting to know my Father better and to be about His business with heart, soul, mind and strength.


  1. Great blog post my friend!! These are many of the same questions I've been pondering recently. We can ALWAYS do more and giving up our own plans and completely surrendering our lives to the King is so much better then ANYTHING else we could possibly think up on our own. Love you.

  2. I was just thinking about you...wondering how you were all doing. I would say reading, going to a conference, and just spending time together in marriage IS A MUST!!

    I have to be honest....I often serve myself. I get sidetracked and try to lead our home instead of allowing my husband to lead. I try to push my agenda on God, and then say it is HIS. Always growing to do!

  3. Yes yes and yes! It is ALL about the kingdom: marriage, parenting, work, recreation, friendships, eating, spending money---everything should be measured by the question, who's kingdom am I serving right now?!! I just never thought of it in that verbage! Thanks for that!!

    Welcome to the hop!! : )

  4. Thank you again Connie. I'm going to see about getting that book. I want a deeper relationship in my marriage and in my walk with God.