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The Vow of Pursuit

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Ryan and Ashia are High School sweethearts. After three years of dating, they finally got married only 5 months before writing today’s devotional about mutual pursuit!

Ryan:

The first thing I had to learn in marriage was that pursuit didn’t end at the altar. I always told myself growing up that I’d never be a workaholic who never spent time with his family. I didn’t realize how easy it was to fall into that trap. Just weeks into our marriage, I had to learn to not always bring home my work frustrations, to-do lists, or even my computer. I’ve started to pray on my way home for God’s help to slow down and intentionally shift my mind and heart from my work to my wife. Confusing wife and work—just doesn’t work. It’s way too easy to tell yourself, “My wife will always be here. I need to give more to work now so I can enjoy her later.” But what you treasure and pursue now is where you’ll end up later. Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:21 that where your treasure is found is the same place your heart is found. The Vow of Pursuit is about knowing where your treasure is and never giving up your search for it.

Ashia:

For Ryan and me, marriage brought with it a built-in accountability partner to keep our hearts pursuing God, always. We regularly challenge each other to grow our love and passion for God and His word. As a result, my desire to pursue Ryan increases. At the same time, I see his heart open with care and passion for me. This vow to pursue God, then each other, has made dating better and our marriage stronger.

Sounds perfect, right? Well, it’s only taken a few months of marriage to realize we fall short of this ideal. I find myself wanting to pursue Ryan by trying to meet all of his needs myself. Then, I swing the opposite direction, trying to take care of only myself instead. This back and forth can be hurtful and endless until I remember our challenge to pursue God first. You see, when I pursue God, He in turn creates a desire in me to serve and pursue Ryan. And when I trust God and Ryan, I find my needs are met. It’s a side-by-side kind of pursuit. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul from Philippians 1:27, Ryan and I are standing firm in one Spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. How does all this pursuing work so well? Because God first pursued us.

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. ~ Philippians 1:27-30

Plan Something: If you’re married, plan a date, a lunch, or even just a conversation to rekindle pursuit. If you’re not married, write down what you want pursuit of God and each other to look like in your marriage.

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