Thursday, 6 May 2010

"Black-buried"


Dinosaur that I am, I have come to truly appreciate the technological advances of our age.  I have just signed up for Skype, though I assure you that the world is not ready to see me on a high definition camcorder.  I love the Kindle I got for Christmas and now I have 15 books sitting by my bedside to be read instead of four.  I spend most of the day on my lap top and experience some form of withdrawal if I don’t receive at least 30 non-advertisement e-mails a day.  But I have drawn a line in the proverbial sand and I have refused to get a smart phone – at least for now.
Lest you think I have forgotten that this is a marriage blog let me close the loop.  Have you ever heard a wife say, “If he would only talk to me?”  Or, “When I ask him how his day was he just says, ‘Fine’.”  For many husbands “Fine” is a complete sentence.  For the wife who has perhaps been at home all day conversing with three children under the age of five “Fine” doesn’t cut it.  She wants to connect, she wants a real conversation, and she wants adult conversation about adult topics.  Getting most husbands to initiate a meaningful conversation when they walk in the door might be akin to a cultural shift of getting men to wear kilts. 



Smart phones (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.) have driven personal, intimate, one-on-one conversations to a new low.  Work, ESPN and the latest breaking financial news now have immediate access to the once physically present but emotionally absent husband.  Each time his phone goes off he reaches for it like Wyatt Earp trying to outdraw the bad guys.  Enough already!  Park your smart phone at the door.  Give your wife a big hug, ask her how her day was and ask what you might do to help.

This posting makes it sound as though this is a malady that affects men only, not so.  The real point is that electronics can take over your life if you let them –what do you think?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Perfect Storm


A "perfect storm" is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.  John Eldredge recently applied this term to marriage as he suggested that, “your woundedness, your sin, and your style of relating (not to mention your personality) will collide in devastating precision with your spouse’s.” 

My initial thoughts were:
(1)  “I’m not wounded, I’m not a sinner and I relate to others quite well thank you very much.”  - Okay, I didn’t buy this response either but it sounded masculine.
(2)  “I didn’t sign up for any program that sounded like that.” – Welcome to the club.
(3)  “I thought this blog was entitled ‘Marriage God’s Way’ so what’s all the gloom and doom?  Where’s the “they lived happily ever after” part of the story?”

To suggest that I haven’t been wounded would be to acknowledge that I have been living on another planet since birth.  Between self-inflicted wounds, pain that I have caused others and the hurts and disappointments I’ve experienced I am an intimate acquaintance with woundedness.

“If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  (1John 1:8)  Enough said.

Which brings me to what is behind door number three – where is God in this perfect storm?  God is in the midst of the storm with me, just as Jesus was in the boat when the fierce storm came up.  Just the way he brought calmness to the raging sea and violent winds he can bring calmness to my marriage and yours.  Jesus never promised smooth sailing to his disciples nor has He promised us smooth sailing in our marriages.  Just as he promised to get his disciples safely to the other side, He promises to help us navigate the sometimes stormy seas of marriage.

If you can accept that God’s “ultimate will” prevails, in spite of the fact that we have free will, then accept that our spouses have been selected for us by God and that our life partner is an essential part of God’s plan for our life.  In some instance Kathleen is the rudder that helps me stay clear of some of life’s rocks, sometimes she is the sail that helps me catch the wind to keep going when things are difficult, and often she is the anchor that helps me stay steady and calm during a storm.

By seeing Kathleen as part of God’s sovereign plan for my life, by seeing her differing point of view as part of God’s rescue mission it has made for sunny days, no clouds and a zero percent chance of precipitation.

Is God in your boat or do you feel as though you have been set adrift?