The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. — Luke 17:5-6
June 12, 1995 was the first time I ever laid eyes on Teri Lynne. 5 months later I asked her to be my bride, she said yes. I thought I understood love.
June 1, 1996 we stood at the front of a church and promised to love, cherish and honor. To be true to each other only until we died. The night before I was terrified. Internally I battled if I had what I needed to make this commitment. On our wedding day when she heard how nervous I was she wanted to reassure me that everything would be ok. As I saw her beautiful face through the opening doors my fears soon melted away. I thought I understood love.
June 1, 2016 will be twenty years since we made our promise to each other in the front of that church. Since our wedding we’ve had our fair share of struggles — infertility, loss of family members, financial strain, fights, sleeping in different rooms. I battled a blood disorder, Teri Lynne suffered a heart attack. We’ve disagreed over parenting decisions, hurt for friends, cried, screamed at each other, and slammed doors, just to name a few. Our struggles are not more difficult or more unique than anyone else’s, they are just ours.
Through it all, our love has increased— not in amount of or depth, but rather our understanding of it. We aren’t perfect but we’ve remained faithful to our commitment to each other. I’m a better person because of her. In my weak moments she has been strong. We have learned to complement each other’s weaknesses. This is because we know each other intimately through a shared history. Looking at love through the lens of shared moments and a history together can give you a brand new perspective. I think I’m beginning to understand love.
Think of faith in these terms. Not just as an act of believing or trust but as a relationship. Where some relationships are seasonal, the strongest ones are forged by shared moments and longevity.Faith isn't just an act of trust but it is rooted in a relationship. #MarriagePrayers Click To Tweet
We have all made the same request the disciples do in this passage, “Increase our faith!” This request comes immediately after Jesus has been teaching on forgiveness, something we all struggle with. The disciples didn’t need more faith to believe Jesus was who He claimed, they needed more faith to believe He could work through them to do what He had just taught them about. This request actually seems to be for more faith in themselves, that they wouldn’t mess things up. Jesus responds to their request by saying, “Hey guys, it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed.”
Jesus never fulfills their request. Instead, He tells them they already had the faith they desired. In the next 3 verses he goes on to tell them to be obedient and do what they knew to be right.
In the 30 years since I became a Christian, I’ve seen Him cast down trees and move mountains — all with faith the size of a mustard seed. At times I’ve doubted His ability to work through me. It hasn’t been a lack of faith in Him but a deep knowledge of my own unfaithfulness. Through each victory and struggle my understanding of what faith is has expanded. More importantly, my understanding of what God could do in spite of me has increased dramatically.
January 27, 1986 I gave my life to Christ. I thought I understood faith.
Dear Heavenly Father, As we look back through life I see that Your faithful hand has provided. At times we have doubted but You have reassured. At times we were foolish but You provided wisdom. At times we wandered but You pursued.
As you have been faithful may we also be faithful in our relationship with You, each other, our jobs and your church.
Today we surrender to You each doubt, insecurity, and fear that we have wrestled with. May we rest in the knowledge that You are enough to supply for our every need.
Give us strength this day to be obedient each step of the journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank you for joining us for #MarriagePrayers: 31 Verses to Pray for Your Marriage. Scott and I will be sharing a new verse and prayer every day throughout May, leading up to our 20th anniversary on June 1. You can find every day’s post indexed here. We pray you will be encouraged and challenged as you pray God’s Word for your marriage.