Friday, 25 May 2012

Personality Quirks

Quirks and habits we all have them.  Prior to getting married my wife confided in me that she was a little “OC” (obsessive compulsive) which may have proved to be an understatement.  Her “OCness” has produced some humorous moments for us.  I must be quick to admit that some of her compulsive behaviors have been an incredible blessing.  She can organize like no one you have ever seen.  I can’t organize with an instruction manual and a full week to get the job done.  However, once organized, I can keep it that way.  We have decided that we are definitely better together.

Over time we have discovered that I have “a few” OC tendencies of my own, which when discovered once again provide several moments of levity.

Often personality quirks become the basis for irritation, aggravation and frustration even if at first they are what attracted us to our spouse to be.  How surprised do you think God is that you are married to your current spouse?  How shocked do you think God is that your differences can be annoying?

Let’s assume for the moment that God is all knowing, all loving and all powerful.  Why would someone who has those attributes allow two people, who suddenly appear to be mismatched, to get married.  In part the answer is found in Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…”  The process for becoming more like Christ is called sanctification.  Your husband/wife is one of God’s favorite instruments when it comes to shaping you into the image of His Son. 

I get almost irrational when my computer doesn’t do exactly what I think it should do when I think it should do it.  When I peel back all the psychological layers of my outburst my behavior is pure, unadulterated sin.  My need to have everything operate according to the “law of me”.  So recently my wife ever so gently and lovingly pointed out since God is in control of all things, which would include our computer, then when it is not working correctly it is actually God with whom I am displeased.  I sheepishly thanked her for that insight. Have I gotten better – a little.  But if I do have a hissy fit over something that isn’t going according to my plan it does bring me up short.  It will take time but I will get there.

This is an example of how a quirk can become an object lesson, one which will help me to  be conformed to the image of the Son.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012



I could go on but I suspect your eyes have already glazed over.  Our vocabulary is too limited to begin to describe the  vastness of God’s qualities, characteristics and accomplishments; let alone understand the immensity of what we can describe.

Why this lesson in astronomy and science?  Until we have a proper vision of God’s incomparable power it is too easy to “put Him in a box”, i.e. define what we think He can and cannot do.  When we recognize that He has no limitations other than those He has imposed on Himself regarding His character, i.e. He cannot lie, etc., we get a tiny glimpse of the power and magnitude of the God we serve.

Now come to the realization that this same God sent His Son to die for you.

Next we need a proper vision of the “s” word, that would be sin.  You need only to read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to realize that not a day goes by when you don’t sin.

Lastly we need to have a proper vision of grace, which brings us right back to the Son of God dying on a cross, so that your sin and mine might be washed away by the blood of The Lamb of God.

What does this have to do with marriage?  God is all about grace.  His plan for us and His treatment of us is filled with grace.  Most likely there is no other relationship on planet earth that requires us to exhibit grace more than marriage.  We would rather whine and complain because we are not fulfilled, cry because we are not happy, fume because expectations haven’t been met.  We may conclude that we have married the wrong person; that there is someone else out there who can complete us.

God in a box
Thus the God of 70 sextillion stars who controls every breath of every human on planet earth every moment of every day is incapable of selecting the right person for you and/or incapable of making your selection of the wrong person fit His ultimate will for your life.   Well aren’t you special!

You entered into a covenant relationship with your husband/wife in the presence of God and He expects you to uphold your end of the agreement.  The problem isn’t your spouse, you’ve lost your AWE of God.

Monday, 21 May 2012

A Bad Mood is Contagious

Have you ever been in a “bad mood” but didn’t really know why?  By bad mood I am referring to feeling slightly angry, slightly sad, slightly disappointed, and greatly ill-humored.  Fortunately this occurs only on rare occasions but none the less I feel as though I have been inhabited by a being from another planet.  A planet my wife would probably be glad to send me back to.

Most of us have some contact with the outside world and when we have the “grumpies” we affect those with whom we come in contact.  It doesn’t help when my wife who truly wants to help me say’s “What’s the matter?”  The natural response of man is “nothing”, which is a complete sentence.  No self respecting wife would accept that cop-out.  So as she probes gently I begin to get ticked that I’m ticked for no apparent reason.

So I do what man does best – I either withdraw or fabricate something that sounds plausible such as “I’m anticipating that the DOW industrial averages are going to drop over a hundred points today.”  Or, “As I reflect on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, I’m having a hard time reaching the same conclusion.”

Here is what I am learning at my advanced age.  If I am feeling snarly and don’t know why the best thing I can do is to take it to the Lord.  I love Ps. 139 which ends with “Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The next thing I can do is to praise God for who he is, thank him specifically for my wife, my children, and how he has cared and provided for our needs.  It is amazing how the grumpies seem to disappear.