Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Col. 3:12-14 (NIV)
(Dear friends, please pray with us and for us in light of the following prayer)
Lord Jesus, from Green Bay to San Diego, today Darlene and I will begin leading our 2nd couples retreat within the past 4 days. Thank you for the privilege, but we need your Spirit, grace, and wisdom—big time. Thank you for the couples we were just with, and thank you now for the 20 pastors and wives with whom we’ll spend the next two days
There’s no other relationship on earth with greater power to expose our brokenness and reveal your grace, tap into our longings and frustrate us beyond measure. And there’s no other relationship Satan is more determined to crash and burn. We need you, Jesus.
You’ve made us for yourself; and our deepest, most powerful, and most insatiable longings for relationship can only be met in you—not in any human being. Jesus, you are our Ultimate Spouse, and no other spouse can take your place.
Once again, inundate our hearts and marriages with the only love that is better than life, the only love that will never let go of us, the only love that is enough—your lavish, life-giving, liberating love for us in the Gospel. Jesus, immerse and inundate, saturate and marinate our marriages in your mercy and grace.
Precisely because we are “chosen, holy, and dearly loved” by you, fill our hearts and marriages with your “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Free us to forbear with each other, and forgive each other, as you so generously relate to us.
Until the day you take one of us home, help us to encourage one another and build each other up daily. Help us to outdo one another in kindness and repentance, servanthood and understanding, life-giving words and heart-nourishing presence. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.