One Step At A Time
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Omar makes fun of me quite often because of the types of things I can remember. For some strange reason I am able to remember what I was wearing at significant moments in my life. I might not recall a lot of the other details of these events, but I recall what I was wearing. It has nothing to do with me being a fashionista at all. I probably go shopping once a year.
Psalm 118:1 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
A Thankful Tuesday Morning
One Tuesday morning, ten years ago, I was sitting in Bible study. I was wearing a red top and a denim skirt. That particular morning our regular teacher was ill and could not make it. The Bible study leaders asked the senior pastor to step in, and he agreed. I don’t recall much of his message that morning. Now don’t get me wrong, he was a great preacher, but that morning I recall one thing he said; “Me and my wife (he said her name), have a great marriage.” I sat there thinking how I want to be able to say with such confidence that I have a great marriage too.
At that time in our lives, our marriage was okay, but it wasn’t great by any means. But through the years, God has molded and shaped me and Omar. I am thankful I was at Bible study that morning because it sparked something in me to truly take my marriage serious.
Exodus 33:13 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”
Thankful for Mold
Moses was a great leader, but as a leader for God he had to be molded by God first.
It’s Thanksgiving week. This is usually a fun week of movie watching for our family. We watch Christmas movies together as a family, and then as the kids are going to bed, me and Omar watch a movie. We were watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston the other evening. We’ve seen this movie hundreds of times. As the character of Moses was sent into the desert to presumably die, the voice of Cecil B. DeMill begins to narrate Moses’ trek through the hot steamy desert. Moses is tired, discouraged, almost to the point of death.
Then the climax came.
Words spoken by Cecil B. DeMill about Moses hit me for the very first time; he said:
“At the end of human strength, beaten into the dust from which he came, the metal is ready for the Maker’s hand.”
At the end of your human strength, your marriage will then be ready for the Maker’s hand.
Psalm 50:23 “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.”
Years ago me and Omar wanted a better marriage. We wanted to enjoy one another. We wanted to honor God through our marriage. When you hear people say marriage is hard work, it is. It takes a lot of vulnerability and letting go of pride for God to mold and shape us. I’m thankful that God knows we don’t have it all together and wants to mold us.
Recently I was reading a book by a Christian author. He spoke about why Alcoholics Anonymous has been so successful. One of the primary reasons is because the people in this program do not have to hide their failures from each other. They are in a setting of encouragement, but it’s a real setting. They don’t have to put on a show or try to live up to other people’s standards. They have the freedom to express their setbacks without judgement.
Can we say the same thing in our Christian marriage circle?
Are you trying to make others believe your marriage is better than it is?
Are you afraid to share the setbacks you’re facing?
Don’t be afraid.
The more we hide our failures, the more we convince ourselves we have no issues to deal with in our marriage. The God of this universe knows the deep areas within your marriage that you’re trying to hide. He wants to mold your marriage.
Think about it for a moment.
If Alcoholics Anonymous can be so success because people have the freedom to express their failures, how much more can God do in your marriage when you admit your failures to Him – the One who can change it?
No one has it all together.
About three weeks ago, me and Omar were at an event and people were all around us. No one knew, but we were mad at each other. Right before we arrived at this event, we became so upset over something. I like to share these types of situations because you need to know that no one has it all together. A couple can have a great marriage, but they still must work hard at it through God’s continued work – shaping and molding us.
Colossians 2:6-7 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, we walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Thankful For a Great God
Today, I am thankful to God for His patience in my life, Omar’s life, and in our marriage. I am thankful that when we fail, God does not give up on us. I am thankful for the times I am wrong and God speaks to my heart. I am thankful for the many times Omar has forgiven me for my sins. I am also thankful for God who forgives me too. I am thankful for women who lead by example who I’ve had the opportunity to learn from. I am thankful for godly men who have taken the time to mentor Omar. I am thankful for the very hard days that me and Omar face, yet we can sit and cuddle and it makes it all feel better.
Our thankful heart did not happen overnight. It has been many days, months, and years. God is not in a rush as our world is. He has time to care for His children. Give your marriage over to Him, and be thankful for His patience and love He has for you and your husband.
Eight years after that Tuesday morning Bible study, I was invited to speak to a women’s group about the importance of having a healthy balance of physical intimacy in marriage. At the close of my teaching I was able to say; “Ladies, I stand before you, married to Omar, and today we have a great marriage.” And I was wearing black pants with a black and white top. (Smile)
Be patient ladies. Keep praying. Never stop allowing God to mold you and your husband. Be thankful for His many blessings.
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba