Are We People Who Reflect God’s Heart?

search me o god and know my heart Last November I married Brett. I wish you could meet him. His heart for orphans and troubled youth is inspiring. When he asks questions, he genuinely cares about your answer. Being married to my best friend is one of my most cherished gifts.

However, he takes up a lot of time. Marriage takes up a lot of time.

A lot of my time used to go toward running, watching documentaries, or discussing the latest reality TV show. Now much of my time is invested in learning about my husband and how to love him well.

For instance, did you know men usually leave their socks on the floor, even though the hamper is only inches away? Or that it’s not fair to just assume your husband wants to watch a romantic comedy?

I still want to save the world, but before I do, I need to figure out what to make for dinner.

Before marriage, I never worried about cooking. In fact, I used the oven in my small apartment for extra storage space for my shoe collection! I knew how to budget for myself: money for food (that didn’t need to be cooked in said shoe-storage oven), my Compassion children, rent, and the occasional new pair of shoes. Now, I need to think about what is best for us as a couple.

You know what I realize as I begin to think about what’s best for us as a couple? I am really selfish.

Marriage feels like someone is holding up a mirror toward my face constantly reflecting who I really am.

When I look into that mirror, am I seeing someone who reflects God’s heart?

I know that God’s heart is for the poor. The widowed and the orphan. Are Brett and I making decisions to reflect that love?

Are you and your family reflecting God’s heart through your choices?

In only a few short months, marriage is helping me see more clearly that my time and my money are not my own. How can the lessons of marriage develop into a mind-set that is constantly more selfless?

I realize that the lessons are just beginning for me and Brett. I pray that as we learn and become more gracious with each other and the process, our hearts will become more Christlike and even more concerned with the matters of His heart.

35 Comments |Add a comment

  1. April C March 12, 2011

    As a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom of 3 I often have wondered, how can *I* do anything meaningful to change this big old world? There are diapers to change, assignments to grade, groceries to buy, laundry to fold and don’t even get me started on the babies in need of my care outside the walls of my home (goats, rabbit, chickens)! Here’s what God keeps telling me: remember that as you serve and love your family, you are serving and loving me. Sharing God’s love with my kids IS changing the world, 3 small hearts at a time. And you know what? That’s enough most days. As you share your faith and love with your new hubby you lift him up and make his passion for the needy stronger and more stable. And hopefully he’s doing the same for you. God Bless!

  2. marjorie zektwabger March 3, 2011

    Katie — guess what. harold is learning to pick up his socks. be patient – he will learn – we’ve only been marriend 51 years:)

    1. Katy March 4, 2011

      Hahaha! Good to hear that even after 51 years of marriage, there’s still room for growth! Thanks so much.

  3. Mark Sletten February 26, 2011

    Katy-san,

    I can’t believe Brett leaves his socks on the floor!–I would never do that. Well, maybe sometimes. I’m so happy that you found someone who challenges you to walk closer to God. Margo tipped me off to this post (like the good mother that she is) and I’m glad she did. Good insight and enjoyable to read. –Mark

    1. Katy February 28, 2011

      Thanks so much, Big Brother! Hahaha… yes, if you had a chance to read some of the other comments you’ll see that my mom passed this along to many others…. but what are moms for, right?! Praying for you.

  4. Leticia McCoy February 26, 2011

    Katy, What a great message! I’m proud to be your new sister-in-law and so thankful for you and Brett! I love that you both have such caring, compassionate hearts for those closest to God’s heart. Your words are so wise and I love seeing God work in you and through you both! Love the pic of the shoes in the oven! :) Thank you for sharing!

  5. Beth Hendricks February 26, 2011

    Katy, We sure appreciate your skill and willlingness to share these powerful insights about marriage. You will continue to learn and grow, and God will cause the increase. So happy for you and Brett. PS. Socks belong on the floor, the hamper is for clothes.

    Don

  6. Emily February 25, 2011

    “I know that God’s heart is for the poor. The widowed and the orphan. Are Brett and I making decisions to reflect that love?”

    Thanks for wording it like this, Katy. I’m trying to learn to ask this about every decision in my life– even while I’m still single. And it’s wonderful hearing from your example that there a marriage like this is possible, where two come together with one heart to live that way for Christ. :) May God richly bless you two as you continune to discover what He has in store for you!

  7. Florence February 25, 2011

    So good to read this post from you! I’ve been wondering how you are. Your take on marriage is so mature and wise beyond your years. “Marriage takes up a lot of time” Hello! I don’t think I got this until several years into our marriage because I was still living in “happily ever after” mode and wasn’t thinking that a marriage actually took work! My goodness, I wish I had your insight 19 years ago when we were married. And yes, just wait until you have children. Your sin is constantly before you (encouraging, huh?). Ahhh… good stuff!

    I loved your pictures and seeing your absolutely gorgeous, beaming face!!!

    Hugs to you!

    1. Katy February 28, 2011

      Hi Florence!

      Thanks so much for your kind words! It’s good to hear from you.

      Yes, I’m sure being a parent is a whole new ballgame! Say hello to your family for me.

  8. Debby February 25, 2011

    Thanks so much for this article! As one that’s still in God’s waiting room for a life partner it’s a great reminder to be opening the eyes of our heart and reflecting Gods’ heart for us….

  9. Shannon February 25, 2011

    May I offer a piece of advice? Men CAN NOT read our minds contrary to our belief. The enemy of our soul is the master at convincing us that our beloved really doesn’t love us when he is unable to read our minds. Our husband did not understand when we said, “I really like the lattes at that coffee house” translates into, “I want to stop and get a latte at that coffee house.” Being a woman, I am sure you understand! It seems to be a universal problem. This will save you and him a lot of grief if you get this right at the start, and maybe you already have it figured out! Congratulations if you do! The Lord was able to get this across to me one day when He said to me, “Would you like it if Rich expected you to read his mind?” No, Lord. “Then why do you expect that of him?” Huh, good question. What would we do without Jesus! Congratulations on your marriage! It sounds like you are off to a beautiful start!!!

  10. Michelle February 25, 2011

    I use to use my oven for storage as well, only I didn’t get around to taking a PHOTO of it! Very cute. I loved reading your story.

  11. Michelle February 25, 2011

    Fantastic!

  12. Sally John February 25, 2011

    Katy – You’ve been married like for five minutes?! =) Your insight into marriage is amazing and encouraging. Bless your heart so open to God’s own.

  13. Lisa February 25, 2011

    I read an article about a couple who wrote a mission statement for their marriage — just like a mission statement you’d find at a corporation. They made a list of the 5 or 6 things that were most important to them. They had to negotiate between the two of them what they would stand for as a couple — shared goals, shared principles, etc.

    They used this mission statement whenever it was time to make decisions — big or small. They would ask themselves, does the choice we’re making fit into our mission statement — does it reflect what we stand for?

    I always thought that was such a great idea. It ensures you’re sharing goals and moving together as a team, in the same direction.

    1. Katy February 28, 2011

      You pose some great questions, Lisa, and some great food for thought! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Ashley Mays February 25, 2011

    Katy, you’re right…I do love the shoes in the oven. 😉

    But seriously though, great post! ((Hugs!))

  15. Doneda February 25, 2011

    Katy,

    Marriage is Humility 101 and Parenting is Humility 401. Both classes are for a lifetime term and both are worth taking! Continue to pursue the Lord as your pursue each other, and you will be just fine. Thank you for sharing your heart :-)

  16. Andrew February 25, 2011

    Marriage is just the beginning: having kids has shown me new ways how selfish I was—and still am.

  17. lifelivedfully February 25, 2011

    Katy,
    You are so onto something…while i think we should do all we can to help this hurting world and pour out all the love we can muster..i think family comes first. Truth is, you can’t save the world if you can’t love your own family.
    And yes, shoes tastes delicious broiled:)
    great words…

    1. Katy February 28, 2011

      Thanks for your comment! Now if we can just find some recipes for broiled shoes… :)

  18. Gwen Keaton February 25, 2011

    Thanks for your transparency, Katy! Love your willingness to share your struggles as well as insights applicable to those of us married for more than just three months (like thirty years!). We are grateful for who you are and who you are becoming. We’re also thankful for Brett and his godly leadership in your new family. Proud to be your aunt and friend, Gwen

  19. Janet Dunn February 25, 2011

    Katie, what a gifted writer you are. You know to choose the “telling details” like using an oven for shoe storage. You know to keep paragraphs short and draw in the reader by interesting self disclosure. What a gift you give your world by letting your journey inform ours. That’s what I call using “self as instrument.” Not many people can do that..

    Keep sensitive to your journey and keep writing. Also be gentle with yourself as you’re learning. It’s all about the journey – never about “arriving.” There’s no destination, just the journey.

  20. Kimberley Knochel February 25, 2011

    Katy, you are a wise woman, and with this spirit led mindfulness, and your heart to willingly adapt to an other-centered orientation is, and will be blessed by God!

    Loved the shoes in the oven story! Word to the wise- do not store your tupperware in there and completely space it until you turn on the oven and smoke up the house… just FYI. ☺

    Thanks for sharing your insights with us..

  21. Sherry W. February 25, 2011

    Katy, this line really struck me: “I still want to save the world, but before I do, I need to figure out what to make for dinner.”

    You have identified the issue that every woman in this world who has a family struggles with! The truth is, families need to be nourished. Perhaps we gather groceries from the supermarket, or perhaps we scrounge all day for something that can be made into a thin gruel. But until we figure out what to feed our families that day, most women can’t move on to other things. It’s a universal issue.

    It’s really hard, for all of us, to find a balance between family care and following what we feel called to do. When I am overwhelmed with the to-do list, I try to remember how much harder it is for the parents of my sponsored kids to take care of daily needs. I still feel overwhelmed, but I am deeply grateful that I have so many options, and that helps me work harder to ensure that other families have more options, too.

    P.S. Love the shoes in the oven.

    1. Katy March 4, 2011

      Whoops! Sherry… I responded to your insightful comment… i just responded under Deborah’s comment! Sorry about that. :)

    2. Katy February 28, 2011

      Wow. Sherry, thank you for sharing this with all of us. I find your insights incredibly challenging and well said. It’s beautiful to think that no matter how we do it, family nourishment is a universal issue!

      Thanks so much.

    3. Deborah Letcher February 25, 2011

      And you know what, ultimately only God finishes his to-do list each day. The rest of us are finite. He is saving the world. We are just joining in with the grace, time and strength he apportions us.

      Thanks for the reminder! After 13 and a bit years of marriage, I’m still learning how selfish I am. And don’t even get me started on how selfish I figured out I was when I had kids!

  22. Margo Balsis February 25, 2011

    Love it! Your heart for values close to God’s heart has been influencing our family for years. We love who you’re becoming as you are in Compassion culture around such incredible people…and as you are married to a man who reflects God’s heart in such amazing ways.

    1. Katy February 25, 2011

      I’m so grateful for a mother who will comment on my blogs! :) Thanks so much.

  23. Chicky February 25, 2011

    I love the shoes in the oven! That just tickled me. Sounds like you and Brett have a great start in your marriage. Personally, I love being married. I love my husband and by the grace of God, and praise to His name, we have had a wonderful 14 1/2 years together.
    I think one rule of marriage is to pick your battles. Not everything is worth worrying about.
    As long as Christ is at the head of your marriage, you’ll be fine. Congratulations and God bless! Beautiful photo, BTW.

    1. Gail February 27, 2011

      I’ve learnt to pick my battles in many areas of life. This also applies to causes and charities and being involved in making the world a better place. No one individual can be involved in every fight and every cause. We need to pick our cause and then fight in and support those battles.

      If you’re not sure which battles you should fight on the “making the world a better place” front ask God where He wants to place you and be an obedient soldier in that war, rather than flittering between causes and not being committed to any.

      For me, I love being called to the war that Compassion fights as it releases children (and their families) from poverty in Jesus’ name! It has eternal victories as well as immediate wins :)

      1. Katy February 28, 2011

        That’s great, Gail! I know that you’re doing incredible things for Compassion and the children. Thanks for all you do!

    2. Katy February 25, 2011

      Thanks so much! I appreciate any marriage advice I can get! Blessings to you.

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