A guest post from my lovely wife:
The word “consecrate” means to make or declare sacred; or to dedicate something formally to a divine purpose. I married Nate because of his thoughtful passion for social justice, and our relationship has been built around our faith – a faith that calls us to action. When we entered into our marriage commitment, we made a a very deliberate decision to consecrate our marriage – to dedicate it to God’s divine purpose – well, at least as well as we could discern that purpose.
The theme of our wedding ceremony was justice. On that day, in front of our family, our friends, and our God, we consecrated our new, unified life, in hopes that we might have the honor to play some tiny role in bringing about the Kingdom of God and serving the common good. And we are so very thankful for finding a church home in Third Lutheran that continually presents us with abundant opportunities to do just that.
From the very beginning of our marriage, we also established that significant and sacrificial monetary contributions would be one way we would consecrate our union. It is a priority of ours to live simply so that we can fulfill this commitment. (Editor’s note: I have cooked so many lentils that it’s starting to endanger our marital happiness) We even have this exciting and ludicrous idea about tithing: we decided we would try our best to donate to our church and charities 10% of our income during the first 10 years of our marriage, and increase by 1% for each additional year we are blessed to share with one another.
Now folks – both of us have grandfathers who are over 90 years old and healthy as horses. This means we could be giving SEVENTY PERCENT of our income away by the time we’re done! We’ll keep you posted on that one…
We don’t think we deserve the blessings God has showered down upon us, and we know the less fortunate do not deserve their lack of blessings. We are grateful for the privileges we have been granted, and we are grateful for the fact that monetary donations can be part of the way we consecrate our marriage.
So far this year, we’ve consecrated – dedicated to a divine purpose – just over 9% of our income. But we don’t plan to stop there. Over the past year, Third Lutheran has enabled us to grow our spiritual lives and has helped us manifest our commitment to consecration in extraordinary ways – as well as some ordinary ones. Let’s face it, there’s nothing extraordinary about washing dishes or brewing coffee. But we are grateful for all of the opportunities we’ve found here at TLC and are so excited to be living out this ministry alongside each of you. And that’s why we’ve decided to take a step up in our monthly gifts to the church.