I remember listening to Elizabeth Elliot on the radio at home when I was a kid. She had a 15 minute program called Gateway to Joy. She introduced each program with these words, “…I have loved you with an everlasting love…” from Jeremiah 31:3. Anyway, she is one of those spiritual giants as far as I am concerned. Her love story with her missionary husband, Jim, who was martyred by the Aucas in 1956 is truly a story of God’s sovereignty. It is better than anything the world has ever tried to recreate on a movie screen. Her book Passion & Purity details that story very well!
As I have been reading Let Me Be A Woman, I have been amused and challenged by her writing, but nothing has stood out to me quite like Chapter 27 – Forsaking All Others.
Here are some sweet gleanings from this chapter:
“Marriage is a choice of one above all others. Each partner promises to forsake all others, and the Bible says that a man will leave his father and mother and ‘cleave’ to his wife. Any choice we ever make in life instantly limits us. To choose to take this man as your husband is to choose not to take every other man on earth. When you decide to marry this particular sinner you have committed yourself to putting up with his particular sins even though you don’t have a clear idea of what they will be. You will begin at once to find them out, and as you do, remind yourself that you married this sinner. You can always look at other sinners and thank God you don’t have to live with their varieties of failures, but then what kind of sins would you choose if you could choose which ones to live with? It’s a good thing you are not asked.”
“Your growth toward maturity will bring you a wider perspective. The apostle Paul, always desirious that his converts should move on into spiritual maturity, prayed for the Colossian Christians that they might see things from God’s point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding. What could be a greater help to a wife than to see her husband as God sees him? God has created him, formed him, redeemed him, he is His. God is bringing him to perfection. We are all unfinished and not what we ought to be. If we can see one another from God’s point of view, it helps us see what He direction for the relationship.“
“To the Christian who has prayed for years to be led to the right partner and believes that the one he or she marries is indeed God’s choice, it is reasonable to conclude that the personality given is the one that best compliments his or her own, the one that meets needs in ways he or she could not have forseen or chosen. It is the very differences themselves that open our eyes to what we are and, if we pray for the spiritual insight and understanding that Paul prayed for, we see them as God sees them and appreciate the glorious imagination of the Creator who made them.”