3 Things I have learned from our 1st year of Marriage

This one deserves a post! It’s been a year since we got married, and time goes by very fast if you are in love, and happy with the person that you are married to.

The night before our anniversary we were watching our same-day-edit video. While watching it, each scene flashed backed in my mind. It was one of the most memorable and happiest moments of my life. The past year has been great, as I realize and experience the joy of being married to someone that God has gifted me with. Honestly, some say that the first year is hard because there are lots of adjustments, but in our case, it was really very smooth and easy. Here are 3 things I have learned from our one year of marriage.

#1 – IT IS REALLY A JOY TO BE MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO LOVES THE LORD THE SAME WAY THAT YOU DO.

Ef Sorongon Speaking in CCF Sta RosaThis year opened a lot of speaking opportunities for me, and in those speaking engagements I really try partnering with my wife. I have asked her numerous times to share a testimony or story of how God worked in her life and in those moments, she has always said “yes!” This made me realize how crucial it is to marry someone who has the same faith and passion as you. Truly, there is wisdom with what God said in 2 Corinthians 6:14. She has also always supported my meetings with my small group and ministry team. There are even times, wherein she will wait for me in church until my small group and I would finish at 11:30pm in the evening. Plus, when we had our discipleship outing two weeks ago, she was there to serve and cook for us even though she was the only girl amongst seven boys. She never complained and always showed joy in her service to me. Being married to her is really such a blessing.

#2 – THE ROOT CAUSES OF OUR CONFLICTS IS ALWAYS MY SELFISHNESS

I can count the number of conflicts that we had for the past year with my fingers. We rarely fight, and when we do I normally know what caused it – it’s my selfishness.

Bag of Bean Tagaytay with my small group

Bag of Beans Tagaytay with my small group after our outing

I remember one time, we had a fight. It was my rest day and I just wanted to relax. I saw my wife stressed because of work and I asked her what was wrong. She didn’t respond. Deep within my mind, I thought that she was ok since maybe she was just stressed and she didn’t want to talk about it. So I left her and started playing with my tablet to unwind. Then after a couple of minutes she came to me, wanting my attention. That irritated me because I felt it was unfair for her to suddenly want my time when I was willing to give it before unwinding – so it led to a fight.

The root cause of all conflicts is selfishness. Think about it, what was the cause of the previous conflicts you had in your life? Was it because YOU did not get what YOU want? Was it because YOUR expectations were not met? Was it because YOU were hurt? Look at all of those reasons and you will see it’s because YOUR focus was on YOURSELF. But if we will all learn to be selfless and love like Jesus, this will help our relationships be more peaceful and Christ-like.

#3 – THERE WILL BE REAL JOY IN YOUR MARRIAGE IF GOD IS AT THE CENTER OF IT.

Sorongons in Bellevue Hotel BoholThis is the main reason why I believe our marriage had a wonderful first year. Without God, I know I will always allow my pride to get the best of me resulting to conflicts and arguments. Without those moments I spend with God, I know I won’t be able to draw strength to love my wife unconditionally. We love because He first loved us. We draw love from Him, to love others. And I know I won’t be faithful with my thoughts and actions if it was not for God. Every time I think about how good He has been and how much of a precious gift my wife is, it makes me really want to be loyal to her and be faith to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ

One year has passed and we are looking forward to more years ahead. Thank you for all those who prayed for us and has supported us. With God by our side, I know we’ll be able to finish the race set before us all for His glory and name! God bless everyone!

 

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He does not need our service?

I grew up in church and have been used to serving God in church. I have seen my family serve in church, and even my friends. But without really having a relationship with Jesus Christ, eventually serving in church will feel like an obligation rather than having joy in the heart. This happens when we serve God for the wrong reasons. This happens when we think God needs our service, because the reality is God doesn’t really need our service. Paul was very clear when he said in Acts 17:24-25

ian-chen-522662-unsplash 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.

 

Sometimes we feel God needs us. Sometimes we think that he needs us for his kingdom to expand and grow. But that is far from the truth! God’s word will never return to Him empty, it will accomplish its purpose even without you. God does not need you.

But if God does not need my service, then why is he commanding us to serve?

There can be a lot of answers to this question, but Psalm 50:8-14 gives us a good picture of why we are to serve and what God wants from us.

8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,

And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

9 “I shall take no young bull out of your house

Nor male goats out of your folds.

10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine,

The cattle on a thousand hills.

11 “I know every bird of the mountains,

And everything that moves in the field is Mine.

12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you,

For the world is Mine, and all it contains.

13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls

Or drink the blood of male goats?

14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

And pay your vows to the Most High;

What God wants from us is to serve him from a thankful heart. We are to serve God not because He needs us. We are to serve God because we know what He has done for us. Our service should be because we want to worship him – it comes from a thankful heart.

I hope this gently reminds those who serve in any ministry that, before you do what you need to do, you ask yourself first “Why am I doing this?” Are you serving Him because you love Him? Or are you serving Him because you are becoming proud thinking the ministry won’t survive without you?

Remember, God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble. May we always live a life of humility as we serve our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory forever – not us.

 

 

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Take heart. Wait Upon The Lord.

If we’ve come to really know God and believe in Him, we know that he is sovereign. Everything that is happening in our life is under his control and authority. Thus when bad things happen to us, often the first person that we blame and even complain to is God.

As I read Isaiah 40:27 this is the same scenario that I see.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord,

And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?

Isn’t this what we feel at times? We complain and ask God why he allowed this plight in our life. We ask God for justice for people who have deliberately wronged us. We sometimes feel that the Lord does not care or does not notice us in times of trouble and pain.

But be encouraged, after verse 27 God encourages us by revealing to us his heart and power.

Isaiah 40:28

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth

Does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

If ever you thought God did not notice you because he was tired or had other things to do. Take heart, he is always at work and he never gets tired. No one may really be able to understand how he works but surely, he knows what we are going through

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives strength to the weary,

And to him who lacks might He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired,

And vigorous young men stumble badly,

Yet those who wait for the Lord

Will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary.

Take heart, even though you are very discouraged and tired. The Lord can give you strength. The strength comes from our hope and faith as we wait for his help. That’s why in times of discouragement you should not be complaining but instead, you should be exercising your faith to believe and wait in the Lord.

And as we wait in the Lord, the promise is we will have strength, we will run and not get tired, we will walk and not become weary.

I know during times of disappointment, trouble, and pain it’s hard to walk and stand up, but take heart, my dear brother and sister. We need to believe in God and wait upon him. We need to believe that in everything God can work out all things for good because He is a good God.

I hope this message brings you hope. It is hope and faith in the Lord that can cause us to fight the good fight. May we always stand firm and wait upon His deliverance.

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