Friday, 9 November 2012

Are You Languishing?

John Ortbetg
The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg offers a number of thought provoking challenges.  In chapter two Ortberg suggests

“Psychologists have begun to speak of what is perhaps the largest mental health problem in our day.  It is not depression or anxiety, at least not at clinical levels.  It is languishing – a failure to thrive. Languishing is the condition of someone who may be able to function but has lost a sense of hope and meaning.  Languishing is not the presence of mental illness; it is the absence of mental and emotional vitality.”

In the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29 verse 11 God does not say, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for you to languish.”  In fact as a Christian married couple our marriage is to be a direct reflection of the love between Christ and His bride the church.  Talk about thriving!
As I read this description I could not help but think of the number of couples who must be languishing, who have lost a sense of hope and meaning.  This is sad for any couple but in some ways I think it is even sadder for couples who profess to be Christians.  In part because they know that they are either disappointing God and/or they are disappointed because in some way they think God has let them down.

There has been a story told about the late, great professional football coach Vince Lombardi, whether or not it is an urban legend I cannot say.  He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.  Supposedly he started each training camp by saying to his players, “gentlemen this is a football.” His point being if you execute the basics better than your opposition we will win.  Okay so let me connect the dots.

As a Christian married couple you will thrive if you do the basics according to God’s “playbook”.  If you believe and act as though the purpose of marriage is to glorify God you will be well ahead of the game.  If you pray together, have devotionals together, attend a house of worship regularly, and are connected to your church through a small group and/or are serving together you will be more likely to do well.  If the husband even attempts to love his wife half as much as he loves himself and his wife adores, respects, admires and appreciates her husband, all will be well in Camelot.


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