Thursday, 23 August 2012

Stuck in Neutral

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your path; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Jonathan Holmes in his post entitled “Marriages Stuck in Neutral” captures the essence of where many marriages find themselves today.

(They are) struggling to find hope that their marriage is going to get better. The daily routines of marriage have now become the daily frustrations and irritations of a marriage.

Husbands have become spiritually indifferent and bordering on the apathetic when it comes to embracing their role. Its wives who are so caught up in the chaos of their schedules, chores, and to-do lists that they feel exhausted at the end of their day. Its husbands and wives who have long since settled into a routine of life that neglects some of the most common of spiritual disciplines: prayer, reading, silence, conversation, study, and intimacy.

Then Jonathan rightly suggests that one of the answers for a couple caught in such a struggle is to turn to the Lord, and seek His guidance.

As has been said by some very learned men;”our problem is not that we love our husbands/wives too little it is that we don’t love God enough.”

Start with your vision for your marriage – is it to glorify God in all that you do?   I didn’t think so, but that is God’s purpose for marriage.  Do we love God so much that we would be willing to die rather than denounce our Christianity?  Would we be willing to go to prison rather than to say “we don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ”?   I didn’t think so.  Yet it is that kind of love that would enable me to put Him first and putting Him first necessitates that I also put others first.  I am to love my neighbor as much as I love myself – assume that includes your husband or wife.

Our marriages are stuck in neutral because we are attempting to live the American dream, the one promoted by our culture, the one that says our spouse should fulfill us, make us happy, and complete us.  In what Biblical translation do we find that?

We are called to love the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind (Matthew 22:37).  If we loved God half as much as we are called to, our marriages would be transformed.  Wives would feel more cherished, loved and secure than they ever believed possible.  Husbands would sense a respect that would make them feel as though they could conquer the world.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Is Your Bucket Clean?

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing Proverbs 12:18

Dr. Bob Snyder’s postings grab me in two ways.  First I appreciate his unbelievable transparency and humility and second the practical application of his words.  In a recent blog  he challenged me with the following thought;

When I clean the kitchen floor, I first go to the closet to get the bucket. I often find that my bucket has miscellaneous items in it and dirt at the bottom that has mysteriously appeared since the last time I used it. So my first job is to empty and clean the bucket before I can fill it with water to clean the dirty floor.

As I come to Jesus each day, I find myself in much the same position. Wanting to fill my "spiritual bucket" with living water from Jesus but finding my bucket full of the cares of the world and my sin. Only when I empty my bucket and Jesus does His cleaning process in me, can my bucket be filled with His Living Water. Only then can He use His Living Water in me to overflow into other people's lives.

Bob’s words when taken in conjunction with the verse found in Proverbs 12:18 remind me that the dirt that remains in my heart at the end of each day will no doubt find its way into the words I speak to my husband / wife and/or children.  For what comes out of me is what is inside of me.  If I have failed to begin each day “rinsing” my mind with God’s Word and filling it with the clear, clean Living water that can only come from the Lord, most certainly my speech will be contaminated before the day is out.

Some of you are thinking “that sounds all well and good but you don’t know how hectic the mornings are around my house.”  Here is the bottom line, every one of us finds the time to do what we truly want to do whether it is to check up on friends on Face Book, to do the newspaper crossword puzzle or to turn on CNN-Sports.  Get up 5 minutes earlier. Find a devotional you can read in 3 minutes and spend 2 minutes in prayer.  Now that wasn’t so hard was it?