Should passionate people marry? This is more than just an abstract question. I’m here in Oxford, Alabama, and in a few hours, two of the most passionate people I know, Ericka Bennett
and Rusty Jackson
, will tie the knot.
The marriage counselors fill the room with caution when asked this question. After all, someone needs to steady the marital ship – both people can’t be rocking it all the time. Look at Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Look at Brad and Angelina. I mean, is this really a good idea?
But I think God loves passion. He asks us to seek him with our whole heart and I think he wants us to be around people who will fuel that passion. We need more examples of how to live passionately. And if two fire-breathers want to get together, my only advice is that they learn to fight fair and that they commit to serve one another. After that, let the games begin!
Last night, at the end of the rehearsal, while the rest of us in the room wondered if we really belonged there, Ericka sang Rusty the sweetest of love songs. She makes the case for passion better than anyone here:
I prayed for years for a man who would passionately follow God’s call – at all cost. A man who would recklessly run after Him…
Rusty is exactly that; everything I’ve ever prayed for and more.
He wants God’s best for me. He reads scripture with me. He
teaches me. He challenges me. He pushes me. He calls me higher. He
wants me to grow in my relationship with the Lord and he does
everything he can to help me grow. No, he’s not perfect, but he’s
perfect for me! He truly is a changed man. A man who’s been redeemed. A
man of integrity and honesty. A man who continues to desire to grow
closer to God. A man who leads me well.
He prays with me and for me – taking every opportunity to
pray- in the big and little things. He fights for me. Rusty fights the
enemy on my behalf more passionately than anyone ever has! I feel safe
He reminds me who I am. He affirms my identity in Christ. He speaks life and truth over me.
He encourages me to pursue my dreams. He supports me, even
when those dreams seem crazy! He pushes me when I get fearful and he
believes in me when I can’t even believe in myself.
He protects me. He takes care of me. He’s tender with me. He
holds me when I cry and never condemns me for getting emotional. He’s
patient with my fragile heart, and he tells me how much he needs my
gift of mercy in his life.
But the thing I need the most in him is one of his most incredible qualities: HIS FAITH. He really does trust God. In a world full of people who depend on tangible things, Rusty has this beautiful, supernatural faith
that seems insane! But His faith is REAL. He’s seen God move in
powerful ways in his life and around the world. And he continues to
expect that from God. So he is trusting God with every detail of our
life – our wedding, our marriage, our future family, our finances, and
all our plans and dreams and hopes and desires! He is TRULY believing
and living Matthew 6:33.
Lucky for me, that kind of faith is contagious!
So, on April 18, I get to marry this wonderful, crazy,
passionate, reckless, tender, challenging, faithful man of God. And for
the rest of our lives, we’ll get to bring freedom and love and life and