My wife and I recently celebrated ten years of marriage. You always hear that time flies by but momentous guide posts like special anniversaries or birthdays have a way of driving it home. The fact that our boys are now eight and seven years old while we still remember them dancing in their diapers has a similar effect.
Over a celebratory weekend away we reflected on the last ten years and dreamed about the next decade together. During this time I noticed God speaking to me through a scripture reading. David gives us an important reminder in Psalm 37 when he writes:
“Take DELIGHT in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. COMMIT your way to the Lord; TRUST in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
Psalms 37:4-6 NIV (emphasis mine)
In healthy marriages, relationships, companies and churches I believe David’s instructions also bear remembering. Let’s look at the three themes and how to better use them as leaders:
1) Delight: When my wife and I met each other this was a word we simply lived out. From the moment we woke until we went to sleep we were thrilled at just the thought of our love. Yet fast flames can burn out with only paper and kindling. Delight may open your mind and heart to possibilities but it will only take you so far.
Maybe you started a new job and at first it thrilled you but eventually the rote schedule and annoyances of your coworkers wore off the initial sugar rush. If you only focus on delight, things won’t go further than surface deep. In order to do so you must take the next step...
2) Commit: My wife and I met in Miami, Florida and at the time I was planning to travel the world after quitting my job. As a bachelor, wanting to surf and ski the globe, commitment was the last thing on my brain. That was until the moment Chris and I locked eyes and began a whirlwind courtship.
As we progressed and ultimately decided to move to my home area of Philadelphia we came to our first significant challenge — Chris, moving away from her work, family and friends wanted more than just our passionate and delight-filled relationship — she wanted a commitment! Young and naive, I thought that delight was enough. But Chris, like God speaking through David, wanted more from me.
Another example of this is when my wife and I first joined our church as it was going through some internal strife. We were only a few months through our new membership class and we witnessed several of our new friends and church leaders leave for other churches. In their minds they were doing the right thing but Chris and I decided that we would commit to following God in whatever He wanted from us in serving our church. I miss those who left but after a few years and the dust settling it’s amazing to see the engagement of those who remained committed. God challenges us to commit for our own growth. Commitment takes a leap of faith and without it we can never get to...
3) Trust: It’s hard to trust someone if you’re not sure if they will stick around through thick and thin. When Chris and I said our vows ten years ago in our minds we were fully committing but in many ways we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Trust takes time. It takes seeing the other person put you before them just as you have done through consistent repetition.
As mentioned earlier I believe trust takes a significant amount of faith. There is risk in trust. What if they don’t come through? What if they change their mind about me? Doubt creeps in and we start to question if trusting someone is the smart thing to do.
Yet God asks us to trust in Him and promises He will unleash unimaginable blessings upon us. We need to discern when to trust those around us, yes, but if we fully trust in God He will ultimately deliver us a righteous reward beyond our comprehension. Trust takes a commitment and can bring about long lasting delight.
What steps do you need to take right now to increase your life’s level of delight, commitment and trust? I am hoping to increase all three in my marriage the next ten years. Let’s jump in together with a leap of faith. Before you know it you’ll be celebrating your very own milestones.