Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal! This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me (and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed(inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5). For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Journaling in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, BSN, RN

Rekindle Your Marriage With God

Penned by: Erlinda Mejia Olson with David Olson💓
On Wednesday, the 13th of May, 2015 at 9:05AM CDT
Posted on Friday, the 25th of August, 2017 at 10:56AM CDT

Scripture Reference: Genesis Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3.

As the song goes,
…Many, many years ago God wrote the first love story, when He made a perfect woman, for a perfect man. And ever since that day He's been working in His wondrous way, to write new love stories like no other can…

Romantic love originated from God. He wrote the first love story. And the Genesis account of Chapter 2 depicts the romantic nature of our Loving Creator. It is one of His amazing creations. And every poet, writer, and storyteller is only retelling a story already told.

Before the world committed the first sin, the first man's heart longed for the romantic love of a bride (Genesis 2:18-20; Genesis 2:23). God saw that it was not good that man should be alone so He made him one of his kind (Genesis 2:21). And thus, God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26-28). While romantic love is sweet, it is honestly normal for marriage to be challenging at times. If we think about it, almost everything in this life that has eternal value is difficult at one point or another.

While I was writing this journal, I said to my husband, imagine what marriage would have been like if not because of Adam and Eve’s disobedient to God’s command in the Garden of Eden (read the full Chapter of Genesis 3). God wouldn’t have put a curse. Mankind would have a perfect fellowship with God and with His creations. They would have perfectly enjoyed every moment together as husband and wife. They never would have blamed each other for their mistake (Genesis 3:12). Labor and giving birth for Eve wouldn’t have been severely painful (Genesis 3:16), and Adam wouldn’t have to toil the ground and work very hard in order to eat (Genesis 3:17-19). They never would have a son named, Cain, who committed the first murder, by killing his own brother, Abel, because of jealousy (Genesis 4:1-15). They never would have been mindful of their own self-vested motive. Utterance of unkind words would never have been spoken. They would have a perfect family who love and obeys God.

A picture perfect marriage a picture perfect romance in a picture perfect world.

But then, this romantic love—a special bond God created for His first married couple—would never again be perfect, when Eve gave in to Satan’s temptation and be deceived; and Adam willfully believed the lie. In that sudden moment, romantic love was suddenly and forever changed. The result of their sin has shackled their relationship with God, like an infectious disease – infiltrated the relationship between husband and wife, and eventually carried over unto their offspring. Since then, every husband and every wife has fought the same battle. Even in marriages that are loving, faithful, and happy, the sting of sin still plays a major role in hurting this special gift of marriage.

However, though earthly romance will always be imperfect, but God transforms us through His Son, Jesus Christ, with gospel hope and abounding grace, as we live life alongside our spouse. As we shove the joys and the struggles of the marriage relationship, here are heart attitudes learned, which have helped me and my husband, to cultivate a Godly marriage through the Word of God:

💓Repent and forgive immediately—With sin comes the need for repentance and forgiveness (Matthew 6:14). When we first sense the warm affinity to repent, we should go immediately to the one we have hurt. That is just the way marriage is. We have hope, believing that as we keep growing in Christ, we will sin less and love more. But even in the best marriages where there is an atmosphere of mutual love and respect, sin is still going to stern its head. The question is not, “Will there be sin?”, but in, “How will we respond when we have sinned or been sinned against?” Sometimes our nature is to remain angry, distant or cold just a little bit longer when we have been sinned against. Even when we are approached in sincere repentance, our fleshly instinct would seem to want to hold on to anger. Avoid doing this. A response of delayed repentance and forgiveness can often be more harmful than the initial sin. We should repent and forgive immediately and completely. Along with this, when we have been the one who has sinned against our spouse, don't procrastinate in asking for forgiveness. It takes a lot of courage and humility to even do that. Coldness is not the way to love someone.

💓Always give your spouse the benefit of the doubt—Keep an open mind and heart. Don't be too quick to judge (Matthew 7:1-5).  We have every reason to assume the best about our spouse, to assume the best about their intention and their heart, and yet our human tendency during conflict can be to assume the worst about. Don’t always assume the worst. In a healthy Christian marriage, the husband and wife genuinely desire for the good of each other. For instance, I know my husband loves me. And I know he would do anything for my good. And yet, there are times when we are in moments of conflict or disagreement that I fail to recognize who he is. And because God has blessed me with a patient husband, David sporadically reminds me that we are on the same side. A simple reminder and yet very helpful. Our spouse is for us. They desire what is best for us. We should hope for the best and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

💓Be levelheaded—Some of us have tender hearts. Sensitive hearts that get hurt so easy and easily get empathetic. I for one possess such attribute. And I have seen how God used this attribute in my own marriage to teach and humble me. However, there can be an aura of sweetness and compassion that flows out from a tender heart that can help us love our husband and our wife genuinely. But when you become exceedingly sensitive, when you get hurt so easily by things that never should have hurt you in the first place, you will become flustered, and eventually would have missed the point of trying to find out the real cause of the very thing you have been hurt about. If this is one of the areas that you are struggling, first, ask the LORD for wisdom and strength to help you learn to identify when you are being overly sensitive and when you can just laugh something off. As the famous saying goes: “like a water off a duck’s back!”, let go and let God.  With Christ’s help, I have learned to taper my sensitivity and use it to honor the LORD by being sensitive instead, to my husband’s needs and concerns. I have learned that it is more therapeutic to have actually smiled than be offended. Not taking everything to heart and learning to just let things go, is definitely comforting. After all, the LORD commanded me (as a wife) “to submit to my husband, as to the LORD” (Ephesians 5:22).

💓Pray for your spouse for Godly change and growth—Don't dwell on changing your spouse your way or the high way. Only God can change a person. Each of us has areas we need to change and grow; And every Christian husband and every Christian wife is a work in progress. Should we want change? Should we want growth? And in Godly perspective and ways, we should even desire for our spouse to change and grow in the likeness of Christ. In order for change and growth to take place, sin has to die; the old man has to be put off (Ephesians 4:21-24). Change and growth should begin inourselves first, not in our spouse.

💓Hold on to the Truth in God’s Word—Seek the God of the Bible who created marriage. He is the ULTIMATE marriage counselor any Christian husband and wife could ever have. And if you and your husband are both not saved in Christ, it is never too late to bring your life and marriage before the LORD. His Word is a lamp to our feet; a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Therefore, don’t feel discourage. Even the best marriages go through seasons that are not always cheesy, where the road seems full of grooves, furrows, and troughs, where it requires sincere and genuine effort to love one another. This is an important truth for newly married couples to know ahead of time, so not to feel discourage when they enter the worst season of marriage. Just as there is sunshine and rain to life, so there is in marriage as well. But regardless of the season, our marriage is facing, Christ taught us  to love unconditionally, as He loved us unconditionally when He died for our sins (Romans 5:8). When I asked my husband, “What lesson in life did you learn when the LORD took us to the pilgrim’s road, to journey with Him, for seven years?, David simply answered, The LORD was with us all those years, He is still with us now, and will be us through eternity.” It is when we have the vantage point of looking back at the tough times that we see how our faith was refined and how our love for our spouse is stronger, deeper, and safer than we ever imagined possible. More so importantly, it brought us closer to our Heavenly Father through Christ. As Christians, we believe the hopeful truth that the gospel is transforming our marriage according to His divine purpose (Romans 8:28). God is at work in us. In the sweet seasons, we rejoice, in the most trying times, we have hope (Isaiah 41:10).  My husband and I are very thankful to God for our marriage and for all that He has done and will be doing in us and through us. To our Heavenly Father be all the glory and honor in Christ!

💓JOHN 15:5 ~ "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
💓JAMES 1:17 ~ "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."