Religion. I hate that word and I always make it clear I am not religious. Religion in my perspective is the practice of using God's Word (The Bible) to create a twisted version of "Christian" dogma to control masses of people. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6). He didn't say, I am a religion, your religion, a dead religion and I am one of the ways to enlightenment. Jesus never said to pray kneeling face down to the East or directed any priest of the Old Testament to have the people pray 20 Hail Mary's, nor did he instruct the Early Church of the New Testament to divide up into different branches of Protestant sectors in order to accommodate their difference of opinions. No, Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." I accepted Jesus' gift of salvation 33 years ago, but each day I have to choose whether or not I am going to deny my own life to follow His. That is not religion, that is called being in love with my Savior.
My unbelieving husband actually understands this love because he has denied himself for me on many occasions, but there is one particular and very special time that stands out above all the rest. It was on April 16, 2011. This was our wedding day and it took us 9 years to get to there! The Pastor of my church conducted the ceremony in the backyard of my Groom's parent's house and it was completely Christ centered. My Atheist Groom bowed his head when we prayed. He took communion with me and the Pastor at the alter as our daughter Shelbi sang, "My Only Hope" a love song from a child of God to his/her Savior. My groom did all this for me, and if these things made him at all uncomfortable he never never once expressed it, but instead he never took his eyes from mine. He said every word with a full sincere heart hoping his actions would forever be imprinted in mine.
My Groom did not compromise his stance as an Atheist, nor was he being "religious" in any way shape or form. He simply expressed his unconditional love for his bride by denying himself for her. To do this is an equivalent to laying One's life down for another. As a result I never doubt his love and commitment for me. Even when my own insecurities from past wounds whisper their lies about my husband's loyalty I am reminded by my Lord how my husband chooses each and every day to deny his own life as a single person to be joined with me. That is the daily evidence that obliterates the ugly lies that try to pry us apart.
It is our hearts and minds that consciously choose to be married to one another every new morning when we wake. A choice we make even when we know very well the day will greet us with its challenges.
Blessings to you :)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8