Keep Showing Up - Encouragement for Today - April 1, 2019

Karen Ehman

April 1, 2019
Keep Showing Up

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

I often joke that my home is decorated not in a fixer-upper, mid-century modern manner or even the ever-so-popular shabby chic style, but in a blend of secondhand traditional and ever-eclectic Craigslist. Our house is full of hand-me-downs from a relative or purchases from a nearby stranger who no longer wanted their ware.

However, the most cherished element of my cozy abode is a weathered, wooden sign. I glance at it each morning when I turn on the light. And it is the last item that catches my eye before turning in for the night.

This sign has saved me headaches. And heartache. It has adjusted my attitude when it was growing grouchy and caused my just-about-to-unload lips to keep tightly closed. Spying it standing there has prompted me to wipe the tears from my eyes and keep loving my husband, despite what he’d just done and how it made me feel. What are these magic words strategically stenciled upon this aging, reclaimed wood? It reads:

June 21, 1986
221 Guests

When Todd and I recited our wedding vows, we didn’t do so merely holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes, with no one else around. We also spoke them before the 221 family members and friends who showed up that early summer day. And — most importantly — they were also pronounced in the presence of God.

Whenever thoughts like, What made me think it was a good idea to marry this man? tear through my brain, cranking up the heat on my nearly boiling blood … I stop.

I reread the sign. I recall that day and decide — even though I am totally ticked at my man — I will keep my word. The word I gave in front of the guests as well as before the Lord. Who knew an old piece of wood could possess such spiritual sway?

That sign isn’t the only reason I keep showing up and showing love. I do it also because this is how the God of the universe treats me.

Lamentations 3:22-23 is God’s ultimate love letter to us playing on loop: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” 

The Lord keeps showing up — forgiving once again, loving despite our bad behavior, granting mercies anew and displaying unswerving faithfulness — every single morning. Repeat ad infinitum.

In this verse, the noun love is hitched to the adjective steadfast. However, when this concept of steadfast love was scripted for the very first time in the Hebrew language, it was just one word. The transliteration of this word into English is checed. This phrase means, at its core, absolute kindness, especially as extended to the needy or miserable.

In John 15:12, Jesus said, This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you” (HCSB). Pretty simple instructions, right? Simple, yes. But easy, no way! And completely impossible … if we attempt to do this in our own strength.

Since our spouse is one of the “one anothers” Jesus spoke of loving, this command to love like God does apply to marriage. Yes, even when we may think our spouse’s behavior is bordering on being needy or miserable, we still need to choose kindness.

If we go to God, asking Him to supply us with unrelenting love laced with loads of mercy to show to our very human and imperfect spouse, He will be faithful to supply it. Even on those days when we’re certain there isn’t a kindhearted thought lurking in any crevice of our mind, our actions can still demonstrate lovingkindness.

Will you keep showing up, displaying a new-every-morning, mercy-filled love toward your spouse, even when you don’t think they deserve it? Decide to hit the reset button on your relationship with your spouse today, showing them steadfast love just like God did for you this morning — and other every morning of your life.

Lord, thank You for granting me new mercies every day. Help me, in turn, to display a love toward my spouse that never leaves but keeps showing up and showing Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 86:15, “But you, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (ESV)

Looking to improve your marriage? Whether you’re in a season of trial or just want to break free from the mundane, don’t miss our next Online Bible Study, Keep Showing Up, launching TODAY. Learn how to embrace your husband’s strengths and work on your own weaknesses, become a faithful forgiver, and let your frustrations drive you to Jesus. Join us!

If you could use some encouragement to show love, display grace and grant forgiveness in marriage, check out Karen Ehman’s new book, Keep Showing Up: How to Stay Crazy in Love When Your Love Drives You Crazy. You’ll also receive special bonuses when you order from our Proverbs 31 bookstore. (Don’t worry — while you wait for your book to arrive, we'll send you the first two chapters free if you register for the Online Bible Study!)

How does your perspective on showing love and forgiveness toward your spouse change when you read that the steadfast love of God, as depicted in Lamentations 3:22-23, means absolute kindness, especially as extended to the needy or miserable?

Join the conversation today! We’d love to hear your thoughts on ways you can keep showing up for someone you love.

{Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion is meant to encourage anyone facing typical frustrations within a healthy marriage. However, we know that 1 in 4 women report facing domestic violence or abuse. To get confidential, anonymous help or practical next steps to help a friend, call 1-800-799-7233 (-SAFE) or visit this website.}

© 2019 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 01 April 2019.