Personal Growth, Playlists
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Are You Rediscovering the Person You Married?

And being apart ain’t easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy
Of rediscovering you
Oh girl, you stand by me
I’m forever yours, faithfully

Hopefully, this song needs no introduction, and if you’re a child of the 80’s and 90’s you have no excuse. Let’s be real, we all transform into our own individual tribute-band when Journey comes up on our playlist.

In the many times you may have listened to this song, have you ever caught the story? It’s the words of a husband to his wife in the midst of distance and unmet expectations. The lyrics go on to tell a story of renewed devotion, while not forgetting where they’ve been. The standout line for me has always been “I get the joy of rediscovering you.”

Consider it great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4, HCSB

I recently heard Ravi Zacharias say about God, “The more I get to know Him, the more I realize I don’t actually know.” God is all about discovery and rediscovery. Then, when we look back, we see what He is actually up to and we buy into His purpose for our lives. Over and over, this is woven into God’s story and our lives. So, why shouldn’t we apply it in our marriages?

A few days ago, Christine and I had… we’ll call it a “difference of opinion.” As I reflect back on the frustration and how much I wished I had been able to avoid it, I realize now we are beyond it. And because of it, we’re a little wiser and going in the same direction (I hope).

How? We chose to let Christ lead us as we talked it out. We both chose to apply what we have been learning and trusted in it. Then we moved on. This hasn’t always been the case and in the past, it would have been easy for this simple problem (and it was simple) to derail us and cause lingering, unresolved resentfulness. But what I have come to love is how God reveals, little by little, as I submit to Him, how He sees Christine. He renews the eyes of my heart, again and again.

Renewed is so much better than just new. It’s sweeter in the end, it’s purer. Renewed implies that there is more character within, and it’s stronger underneath the surface. It’s been refined, however, the refinement itself can be bitter and test our resolve, and that’s where we get trapped. We forget this is where the work is being done, where God is removing and drawing out the impurities, over and over, as a master does with silver until He sees His reflection in us.

Peter tells us we are to love one another “earnestly from a pure heart.” He tells us that this comes about “by obedience to the truth” and “through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:22-23 HCSB).

Change is not an event, it’s a process. Trust in God’s process, because it is a process of grace. I think back to certain difficult seasons for me as a husband when I valued cheap idols in my life. I think about the amount of time I wasted on temporary worries and meaningless pursuits.

I am so thankful that God never gave up on me, and neither did she. Faithfully.

This Sunday, April 15, we’ll be looking at how God wants to do something new in our marriages. As we prepare for the message, listen to these songs and be reminded what God did so we can be made new on so many levels.

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J.J. is married to Christine Cole and they have been at Southern Hills since 2006. Their children are Gabby (9y/o) and Tyler (7 y/o). J.J. serves as a deacon at the church, and he is a police officer with the City of Carrollton.

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