Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Jane Oak, who serves at Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Jane, an immigration lawyer, and her husband Harry were married in 2015.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Marriage is Good!
Genesis 2:18, 1:28
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.” And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
After my parents’ divorce when I was 9 years old, I quickly had to grow up and take on adult responsibilities, such as caring for my little brother, comforting my depressed mother, and figuring out ways to reduce the utility bills. With many years of carrying these burdens, I really enjoyed the freedom I experienced after graduating high school and leaving home. I would play and stay out late, but I also became very involved in church and ministry, investing a lot of time into my younger sisters. I enjoyed this lifestyle so much that the idea of marriage and having a man to take care of was not appealing to me. I wanted to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with whomever I wanted. For the next 20 years, I went into and out of many relationships. And, in my explanation to others as to why I broke up with my boyfriend/fiancé, I used the noble excuse of, “Oh, I wanted to have more impact for the Kingdom of God. I need my freedom to give more time to the church and to my sisters. Marriage will reduce my impact because I would have to worry about my husband and domestic responsibilities.”
Everyone who heard this would agree with me, except for this one deaconess. Her response to me was, “If it’s all about greater impact for the Kingdom of God, you are limiting yourself by staying single. Right now, you can mainly impact women. But, if you get married, through your influence on your husband, you can impact many men. And, if you have children, you will impact many children. Also, it is through marriage that your character will become more like Christ. You really need to think again about your excuse for not getting married.” I was cut to the heart.
I decided to read the Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller, which completely changed my perspective on marriage. And, by God’s grace and orchestration, I met Harry Yoon three years ago. I knew he had not been in the church for 20 years, but I could clearly see that he was falling in love with God and the community (if you haven’t already, you need to read Harry’s testimony on the Tapestry website). Now, we have co-led three cell groups and I hear numerous stories of how the men are growing and maturing because of Harry’s wisdom, humility, honesty, and leadership. We decided not to have biological children, but together, we care for many spiritual children at Tapestry. It is such a joy to constantly talk about our spiritual children, to pray for them, and to serve them as a couple. Indeed, my view on marriage has changed. Marriage with God at the center results in an even greater impact for the Kingdom. Therefore, marriage is good!
Prayer: Lord, I praise and glorify You this morning. I pray that our marriages are being reoriented and shaped in accordance to Your original blue print for the institution of marriage. Whether married or single, may we yield greater fruits for your Kingdom through serving You faithfully. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 8