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Published On: 01/30/17||0 Comments||Categories: James' Journal||

I was talking to a trusted friend the other day about life after divorce and whether or not getting married again was an adventure I was going to consider. From my current perspective the trials and mountains that would need to be overcome for that to happen seems more trouble than it’s worth. However, I do not know the will of God in this, so I guess I should be open to it.

My friend told me that whether or not I make that choice, I should begin to pray about that possibility now. I should begin asking God for what I desire in a bride and that I should consider making a list of attributes and character traits. In this list, I should consider what items are uncompromisable and which are things that would be nice, but not deal breakers.

As a result of this list, the following letter surfaced…

To my future bride,

To be honest, I am not sure you really exist. I don’t doubt that God’s will could bring someone like you into my life, but I feel that my chances at experiencing a Godly marriage and having a helpmate that desires to live for God no matter what the cost, has passed.

As a result, the bar has been set high. My desire is not to make it impossible for you, but to ensure that I do not experience what I have in the past. God has given me a clear mission and our marriage should work in one accord with that mission, not against it. There should not be a fight for priority. There should be no need for sitting down and discussing compromise of God’s will and your life goals. God’s mission for my life should be the same as God’s mission for your life. They may look different, but should work together.

The heartbeat of my life is the Great Commission and the Great Commandments. Though I am not perfect in living for these, and I do not expect you to be either, they are the banners over my life and my sole purpose.

If I were to envision our life together, it would not consist of pursuing careers and more stuff. It would involve sacrificing the comforts of this life for the sake of seeing lives transformed. Together, hand-in-hand, we would choose to give everything we are to the cause of Christ.

With three kids of my own, I can only assume that you will have children too. This shouldn’t change the above. It presents challenges, but the mission does’t change. In fact, I believe the mission starts with our children.

My hope is that you and I, together with our kids’ other parent(s), would live in such a way that their lives are transformed by the Gospel. That our kids understand the cost and the joy of sacrificing for the Gospel. I can see our kids living out their own God-given mission as we give them an example to follow. In the same way as you and I, there shouldn’t be a fight for priority because our children and our mission work together in one accord.

I know that the above is no easy task. In fact, I believe that pursuing this kind of life together will be one of the most difficult things we will ever do. We will be attacked, shamed, and persecuted. Family and friends will criticize and possibly even forsake us. I wish we could be spared this kind of pain and rejection, but Jesus promised this would happen. Instead of shying from it, together we accept it and let it strengthen our resolve for the mission.

I am willing to enter into such struggles for the sake of the Gospel. If you are not, then our marriage will not work. I will commit my life and all that I am to you, but I will not compromise the mission for the sake of avoiding pain, suffering, and hardship. Yes, even poverty if He deems it necessary.

If you are out there, know that I am doing everything I can to be worthy of such a woman as you. I am not a perfect man. I will fail you in so many ways. I am selfish and sinful. I give into my sinful nature on a regular basis. The only thing I can offer you is a promise. I promise to never give up and to never stop fighting for this life. I will stumble, but I will not quit.

I will do everything I can to love you passionately and sacrificially, the way that Jesus loves us. Not because you deserve it, but because God asks it of me. I will fail miserably at this, but I ask for your mercy and understanding. There will be times when neither of us are worthy of forgiveness, but just as God poured our His mercy on our undeserving hearts, we must commit to do the same. In the same way, you will commit to respecting me, not because I deserve it, but because God asks it of you.

I am not looking for the perfect marriage, nor am I looking for you to be the perfect spouse. I am looking for someone that is committed to acknowledging fault, dealing with sin, and abounding in grace and mercy. Together we will encourage one another to be better for the sake of God’s glory. We will be each others greatest supporters and spur each other on in our faith. We will come together and be each others strength when things get tough and lean on each other when we are weak; always pointing one another towards Christ.

I don’t know if you exist, but if you are out there, I trust that God will bring us together at the right time and in the right setting. Until then, I will continue to run this race with passion and endurance. I know you will be doing the same.

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