Monday, 4 July 2011

Christian Speak

Not too long ago I was sitting with one of my clients when I used a phrase that I tend to use over and over again, i.e. “what I want for you is for your marriage to be God glorifying and Christ centered.” I could tell by the expression on the person’s face that I might just as well have quoted Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or better yet given them the recipe for Einstein’s Bagels.

I have been around church people so long I’m starting to sound like one – wait a minute I am one. Fortunately I haven’t found a way to work in the word “ontological” in my counseling but I can see it coming.

Being an astute observer of body language combined with the person saying, “What on earth does that mean?” I clarified my statement.

I said, “God invented marriage. His primary purpose in doing so was to bring glory to Himself. Man and woman were created in His image. Our marriage is to mirror the relationship of the Father and the Son. We are to become one as the Father and Son (and Holy Spirit) are one.”

So what would a God glorifying marriage look like? There are a number of things but to name a few:
• Other couples would point to those marriages that glorify God and say, “We want what they have.” It would be that obvious that a God glorifying marriage was different, in a good way.
• The partners would be as other-centered as possible given our sinful nature. They would strive every day to put their partner’s desires ahead of their own.
• They would look for ways to make love a verb.
• When the couple disagrees about an issue they would invite God to be part of the discussion. They would see their different perspectives as enriching rather than annoying.
• They would keep short accounts, not letting the sun go down on their anger.
• They would give each other the benefit of the doubt. Trust of each other’s motives would be a given.
• They would be extremely quick to ask for and grant forgiveness.
• The fruit of the Spirit, i.e. joy, kindness, patience, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, love, and self-control would be operational in their marriage and evident to all who knew them.
• There would be much laughter.
• There would be a great amount of affection.
• The couple would pray together and for each other every day and not just at the dinner table.
• Each partner would be growing spiritually, i.e. spending more time in the Word, in service, in prayer, in worship, in meditation, reading Christian books, etc.

About this time my client asked me if I actually lived on planet earth and that is when I knew that for once I had been perfectly clear.

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