On December 28, 2008, I became Mrs. Luke Jernejcic. I accepted the ring. I signed the papers. In front of family, friends, and God, I pledged to be Luke’s lawfully wedded wife, for as long as we both shall live.
Since that day, more than nine years ago, I have been a wife; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I haven’t had to sign any more papers, walk through any more hoops, make any further vows. We sealed the deal, the contract is in place. There are many days (and, to be honest, sometimes months at a time) when I don’t act particularly wifelike. But there is no infraction Luke and I could commit, no single act we could take (short of signing a whole new batch of papers) that could change the unequivocal fact that we are husband and wife.
In the eyes of the Law, nothing either of us says or does on any given day makes us any more or less married.
Does this mean that there is no longer any point in trying to improve my marriage? Of course not! I want my marriage to be more than an official commitment, so I’m continually striving to grow in my role, to live up to the title of WIFE. My goal as Luke’s bride is to get a little better at it each day. I love my husband, and want him to experience my love in tangible, practical ways. This doesn’t come from a place of obligation or drudgery, but one of sincere kindness, appreciation, and endearment. I hope—for both our sakes—that at the end our our lives together, Luke will look at me and tell me he would marry me all over again.
I view my relationship with Jesus in much the same way. When I welcomed Him into my heart at ten years of age, I entered into a binding relationship with my Lord and Savior. Since that day, nothing I have said or done has changed the fact that I am His beloved child and He is my Abba Father. I am saved by His grace alone, no other act from me is required.
But because I love Jesus, I do all that I can to demonstrate that love and to enhance our relationship. My acts do not save me (just as serving my husband doesn’t make me “more” of a wife), but they are pleasing to God and they do make our relationship a healthier and more fulfilling one.
My chosen passage for this month speaks to this idea of growing into my calling as Jesus’ daughter. I have already received that recognition—NOTHING can change that—but I want my life to be one that is worthy of the calling. Through His power, and by His grace, I can bear good fruit. My life can become one characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. And when this fruit is present in my life, it brings glory to God. This is the ultimate prize.
This passage begins with the words “we constantly pray for you,” which reminds me that I should be praying for those around me to also be made worthy of their calling, and that I should seek their prayer for me. This sanctification is a lifelong process, and thankfully we have the honor and privilege to pursue it alongside other believers.
These ideas have been at the forefront of my mind as I’ve memorized this passage this month. Writing God’s Word on my heart is one of the first and most effective steps in discovering what it looks like to live out my calling.