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30 Packets of Ketchup

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I just recently took a marketing class that discussed the importance of having a title that would grab the reader’s attention, because a large percentage of readers go on to the next article if the title seems boring. For some reason, this title kept popping into my head and I just decided to stick with it. Anyway, let’s get on to something that actually makes a little bit of sense.

Last Monday (4/25) was my one-year wedding anniversary with Sarah and there are so many things that I have learned about love in this short year. First of all, truly loving someone means putting them first and always looking out for their best interests. I really do try to do that, but there is always something inside that makes me want to do the selfish thing or act in a way that is not coming out of love towards Sarah. Oh wait, that must be my sinful nature coming out. It is crazy to me that I can love this one person so much, but still act in a way that would cause them to hurt or feel disrespected. Luckily for me, I am shown grace more times than not. Another thing I learned about loving someone is that, in order to strengthen your love, it is extremely important to talk to that person every day and to try to learn more about them even when you think you know it all. In this first year of marriage, I have learned a lot of things about Sarah and a short list would include: drawers are not meant to be closed, cats are meant to sleep on your head, and a nap is the best medicine available. Hopefully, I can pick up a few more things as we continue this journey together. The last thing I have learned (obviously I still have a lot to learn) is that, after falling in love with someone, you never want to be without them. This may be the most important of them all.

As I was sitting around the other day trying to digest all of this, I started to think about how this really simple concept can easily translate into how my relationship with God should be. Successful relationships require a lot of work, and a relationship with the Lord is no different. Often times, when I’m not putting God first in my life, it is because I’m making excuses like I’m too tired to read, or too busy to pray, or too selfish to set aside time to spend with Him. I guess that is my sinful nature again. Though I continually fall short, I’m comforted by God’s continuous grace. I encourage you to read through Ephesians 2 to remind yourself that this grace is a gift of God because He loves us regardless and His love is not contingent on what we have done or can do. That’s some powerful stuff and perfect for a guy like me who messes up all of the time. This kind of leads into my second point about love, which is the relationship aspect of it all. Why is it so hard to set aside time each day to get to know the one who has given me everything in my life? When you think of it that way, it really reveals my selfishness again. God is always ready and waiting for us to come to Him, so working to strengthen my relationship with God by spending a little time in the word and thanking Him for blessing me so much each day should not be a burden. Lastly, I relate loving my spouse to my relationship with Christ because I never want to be without Him. After experiencing life with Christ, it is easy to see that there is no equal alternative. The 15th chapter of John really hits home with me and I urge you to read back through that chapter to take in the sweet message of love that Jesus has poured out on us. The more I read that, the more I can feel the love of Christ that is poured out to me.

To close this thing out, I think that it is important to always show love in everything you do and to make sure that we live for God in our everyday lives. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)

3 Comments

I sincerely wish I had learned as much during my first year of marriage. It is extremely difficult to live life so selflessly early on. You grow into it over the years and reach a point where it galvanizes you. Allows you to accomplish things you do not know or believe you possess inside ones self.
Happy Anniversary your Aunt Shielah and I are very proud of you.

Matthew,
I loved your "30 packets of ketchup"! Marriage is a process and a journey. Growing together is hard sometimes but, it sounds like you are doing just fine. Happy Anniversary to you and Sarah! Love you both!

Great Work, Matt! Honestly, I thought "30 packets of ketchup, what's this about?" Then, I clicked, nice work!

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