Just the other day I was cooking with a few of my girlfriends. As the guys were joyfully surrounded by the grill outside enjoying their manliness the girls were joyfully embracing girly conversation discussing life, daily trends and all of the above. When, out of the blue these girls, friends of the same age and demeanor, both in strong, sturdy relationships, started asking ME for marriage advice. Now, being the only married one of the group I immediately thought this must seem to them qualification for advice giver. I began to think about all of this and I thought "Wow!" "When did I start giving marriage advice?"What ACTUALLY qualifies me to give MARRIAGE advice?"
Looking back, I'm sure my expression showed these thoughts on my face during our conversation, which I'm sure made them reconsider ever seeking my insight. However, in the midst of my blank stare and questionable response it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps this was a moment of opportunity. We are often given opportunities, most which are too small to even realize what they have to offer. Those first response words dictate it all! Will we take this opportunity to portray God or will be give a simple response merely to satisfy others?
After my conversation with these friends I continued to reflect on my credibility as a newly married woman to be giving others advice. I mean, I'm NOT a marriage counselor, I'm NOT a priest, I'm NOT an expert. What in the world qualifies me to be giving ANYONE advice? Then, I began to reflect on scripture and all of the teachings within the bible that remind us consistently of those encouraging moments where we DO get to BE the examples. We are the reflectors of our heavenly father and his kingdom here on earth. How will we use these moments when others are seeking advice? How will WE reflect our heavenly father here on earth just within our daily conversations and interactions?
God has blessed me, though I am undoubtedly undeserving, with the most delightfully wonderful husband. He makes marriage easy! And while I do value and see our marriage as credible I would say we are far from experts. However, we can be examples despite any credibility. The reality of the matter is that I AM an example everyday! Maybe even to those I don't know.
Key point: We may NOT be experts, but we CAN be examples!
Let that settle for a moment!
Whether we choose to be good or bad examples, we are without fail, examples to so many others around us! Your marriage can be one of your most important worldly examples! Everyday, someone is watching, learning, following our marital examples. It doesn't matter the age, length of time married, or the so-called credibility! Yours IS an example to someone! Will you take this opportunity lightly? Will you take this opportunity to give advice to friends with ease? Or, will you use one of your biggest tools, your examples, as a reflecting method to share with others a little example of our heavenly fathers grace.
Speaking of Marriage specifically, what does scripture have to say?
1 Corinthians 7: 1-16
One last thought:
John 3:17 ~ "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."