Before Jen and I were married, we went through pre-marital counseling. In our sessions of counseling, we came up with a guiding principle that we have adopted through almost 18 ½ years of marriage. Very simple, are you ready?
“PREFER and DEFER”
Now I have to be honest, I haven’t always been able to stick to this simple principle. It is way easier to say it, write about it, or even quote it than it is to always live by. The whole concept of letting go of my preferences, my desires, my selfish needs, and my wants is way harder than it sounds. I recently saw online an article about the longest married couple in the US (click HERE to read) Alice the wife said this, “…at the end of the day ‘I always let him have my way.’” There is something to be said for the old adage, “Happy wife, Happy Life”! However I don’t think this was always the case for 81 years. There truly had to be a “Prefer and Defer” mindset in there!
Let me switch gears…rather abruptly. The Bible says in quite a few places that the Bride of Christ is the church: Christ Followers…Believers in Jesus…me and some of you! So I find this concept in earthly marriage difficult some days; I find the idea of denying myself just as difficult in my relationship with Jesus (Luke 9:23), if not more – some days! Here we go again, “Prefer and Defer”!
The thrust of my thoughts here are simple. As Christ Followers, as the Bride of Christ, we have to “Prefer and Defer” to Christ! He knows better! He loves us! He desires the best for us! He is selfless in pursuit of us, He is selfish in desire for us to love Him! He craves our attention, our life! When we honor Him, when we give up our “rights” for His way, when we lavish our love on Him – He pours out His lavish love on us!
1 John 3:1 (NIV), “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
You know, when I “Prefer and Defer” to my wife, when I “Prefer and Defer” to Christ; I found that I am not frustrated by the relationship. I find that I fall more in love with them!
Jen, I will stay at it! Forgive me when I don’t. Know that I love you greatly!
Jesus, Forgive me for not always trusting in You! Help me to “Prefer Your ways, and Defer to Your plan!” I am grateful for how much You love me! Jesus, I Love You!