InPursuit

Building a Legacy over a Lifetime {Book Club Thursday}

Welcome to Book Club Thursdays!

Own Your Life Book ClubWe’re reading through Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love (aff. link). For your convenience, all the posts in the series are archived {here}. So if you missed any,  feel free to head on over and catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email!

Chapter 15 : Building a Legacy over a Lifetime {Owning Your Marriage}

You will find very few posts on {In Pursuit} regarding marriage. I love reading and learning about marriage. Writing about it though, that’s another story… I’ve put off writing about marriage because I wanted my words regarding marriage to come from a place of substance and perseverance. My husband and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this November, and still… I do not pretend to have it all figured out. We’re a blended family still in the thick of raising children. Were it not for the grace of God, our story could have gone (and still could go) quite differently.

So, bear with me as I feel ill-equipped to lead today’s study. I’m right there on the front lines with you. Look over and you’ll find a woman who loves Jesus and wants so badly to honor Him with her marriage. You’ll find someone who has to manage the details of blended families while pursuing blessed unity. Though I try to lead and love well in my home, marriage is a topic I refuse to give you 1, 2, 3’s and A, B, C’s for. We’re all in unique situations and formulas won’t cut it. Jesus. Love. Forgiveness. And lot’s of grace. That’s what we need!

Today, we’re doing things a little different. I’m going to pick out a few of the nuggets of wisdom I’m learning from someone who has put in the time, energy, and resources necessary to build a legacy over a lifetime. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes in this chapter in hopes that it would stir you up to get yourself a copy and dig deeper, both into God’s word and into your marriage. There’s so much wisdom here! Sally’s life is a reflection of what a marriage in the hands of God can look like. Let’s lean in and pick up wisdom that will serve as tools on our own marriage journey. Yes?!

Shaping a Life Heritage in Marriage

1

“Truly, I did not imagine how far God would bring Clay and I in our lifetime together. Yet “till death do us part” was our forever commitment. That, and our pledge to serve God together, was the glue that kept us together and enabled us to build a legacy that we hope will last long after we are gone. One of the privileges of my life has been to learn how to be a partner to my husband as we seek to serve christ, advance His Kingdom through our work together, and raise our children to be spiritually strong, vibrant adults.

In the same way that my “home building” required vision, a plan, and a lot of hard work, so our marriage needed a vision, a foundation, and a mutual commitment to do the hard work of building a great story together.”

Marriage: A Mirror of Our Relationship With God

2

“Marriage serves as a model to our children, illustrating the reality of what it looks like when two imperfect people pursue love and peace. We live out, in front of their eyes, how to face difficulties with faith, how to persevere through trouble, how to develop a work ethic, and how to become responsible adults.”

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(Sally also goes on to speak of the beautiful reflection our marriage is of the relationship between Jesus, the Bridegroom, and His Bride, the church.)

The Costs and Rewards of Commitment

Sally writes, “After being married for many years, I have learned that as a wife, I must always continue working at our marriage. Even after the honeymoon ends and children become a part of a family, husbands still need their wives’ undistracted focus once in a while, including time to talk to a faithful listener. They need their wives attention so they can share their fears, dreams, disappointments, joys, battles, and desires. For those reasons, there will never be a year when it is okay for me to become passive and settled. Whatever is watered will grow–and a marriage always needs to be a priority in order to keep growing.”

6

“A woman partnering in marriage can become a true reflection of great soul imagination. She can envision and build a legacy of righteousness within her own marriage and family that will give life to generations to come. The capacity to create such a story is latent in any woman filled with God’s Spirit; yet she must recognize, develop and cherish that potential for it to become as healthy as possible.”

Romance vs. Reality

“Yet most people enter marriage without a true biblical vision for what God has in mind. Without a proper vision for the partnership of serving God together, building their children into a godly generation, and serving the Kingdom of God as a family, there is no glue or core of strength that will keep two separate individuals together.”

4

“Owning a marriage by taking personal responsibility for its health is one of the most basic ways we worship God. Marriage is designed as a way to help us grow in selflessness, sacrifice, humility, and creativity. It’s also the foundation from which we may craft a legacy of life for future generations.”

Faithfulness: Your Ministry to God

Sally shares about a time in her life when she was running at great speeds in ministry while at the same time having to deal with many challenges in her home, marriage, and family health problems.

“Crying from the depths of my heart, I told God that I didn’t know if I could keep going. I expressed my loneliness and feelings of desperation. In the quietness of my heart, I felt God speak to me: Sally, what if the most important task I asked you to do for My glory was to love Clay well–to serve generously in your relationship with him, to choose loyalty, to practice being unselfish? Even if no one else knew, would you do that for Me? Because this place of being unconditionally committed to him for My sake–regardless of his actions toward you–is what I want from you as your spiritual service of worship.

I understood that living with faithfulness, loyalty, and sacrifice was the service that God wanted from me above all else. ”

When Feelings and Commitment Conflict

“As women, we often place very high and unrealistic expectations on our husbands. We get false ideas about romance from movies, media, and television… Often, we expect our husbands to be Prince Charmings every day, as well as being husbands, fathers, friends, and hard workers. I wanted Clay to be the “leader of the pack,” but I realized that there were times that, if I did not initiate a time away or a date night, it would not happen. He so appreciated when I planned dates and intentional time. It took some of the weight off his shoulders.”

(Page 216 gives us some great tips on how to get through some of the” stinging moments in marriage”.)

The Hard and Sacred Work of Marriage

“The work of marriage–forging a holistic family; a strong, vibrant atmosphere of love; a place where righteousness is formed and upheld; a holding place for beauty, celebrations, traditions, comfort, and commitment–is sacred to God…

More important, marriage is about two coming together into a partnership and accomplishing more for the Kingdom of God together than they could ever do alone.”

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This chapter has so much more to offer than the little I’ve shared above. There’s so much wisdom to glean between these pages. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read through this chapter and imagine what “Building a Legacy over a Lifetime” and “{Owning Your Marriage}” could look like. Care to unwrap that? Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately).

Then meet me here next week when we’ll continue with Shaping Generations To Come {Owning Your Motherhood}

*unless otherwise noted, all quotes are by Sally Clarkson.

Thoughts To Ponder

1.) What are the biggest challenges in your marriage? What attitude do you have about those difficulties?

2.) Name three things you are grateful about in your relationship with your husband as it relates to your marriage and family.

Discussion Questions graciously provided by Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life Team
 
 
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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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