Yesterday I received an email from Highway Video about their newest released DVD and I was once again blown away by what they produce. Nearly four years ago a friend of mine got me hooked on Highway and Iâ€™ve been a fan ever since. They produce videos that can stand by themselves or compliment a talk or message. Iâ€™m excited to use them in the context of ministry at the schools I work at here in Ohio over the next year.
I was personally impacted by one of the new videos, on Volume 18, as I checked out their website yesterday. The title of this video is Purity and it is extremely relevant for people in the same life stage as me â€“ a single, twenty-something that desires to be married sooner or later. Here are the words to a section of the video that really hit me.
There is a dream I have of obtaining the â€œperfectâ€ relationship, that has filled my years with an idealized, selfish fantasy. It is the curse of the hopeless romantic. A choice to live in the delusion of the ideal. This of course has caused me to avoid any tangible growth. Put simply – it is the pursuit of the perfect partner. Vanity.
Those words really hit me. Iâ€™ve struggled with the vanity of this pursuit for years, because I often feel deeply convicted about the selfishness of my own heart. Like it is about me. When in reality marriage isnâ€™t about me, but about serving my spouse as Christ served, and serves, the Church. A few years back I learned a lesson from one of the more respected men in my life, my pastor Michael Smith, about this very subject. Of course me learning this lesson was based on a bonehead mistake of mine, but praise God because I learned some valuable lessons from it. The lesson came from the book of Ephesians; here is the Scripture that really hit me.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Eph. 5:25, ESV)
When Michael and I talked, a few years back, about this verse, he asked me, â€œWhat does this say about relationships? Specifically marriage?â€ I looked at my Bible and I knew the answer, but at that stage in life I didnâ€™t like the right answer. Michael responded with the answer as I sat there in silence, â€œIt means that it isnâ€™t about you, but it is about serving the woman that God entrusts to you. She is your primary ministry, your number one ministry. Nothing, besides Christ, comes before her. Not a church you may pastor or the lost you may be reaching out to. But her.â€ I didnâ€™t like that, because my heart has always hurt for those who are outside of a relationship with Christ and there are so many that need to hear about Him and have their lives turned upside down by Him. I told that to Michael and he responded in a fatherly tone, â€œZach then you arenâ€™t ready for marriage.â€
The sting of those words to a hopeless romantic who longed for â€œherâ€ werenâ€™t well received, but Michael was right and I was wrong. From that day on Iâ€™ve been praying that the Lord would create this love, heart and an attitude of service for the woman, Lord-willing, He entrusts me with someday.
So go to Highway Video and check out the video Purity and be challenged, especially all you singles out there! Well, I need to get back to the prayer letter and this afternoon I am heading north to celebrate my Aunt Donnaâ€™s graduation from Ashland University with my family. Congrats Aunt Donna!
Have a radical weekend for Jesus!