Friday, 4 January 2013

Christmas Gifts and Marriage

I can remember, as a young boy, the incredible anticipation with which I looked forward to Christmas Eve and more specifically the opening of my packages. There were times however when my enthusiasm was quickly dampened, as what I had hoped for was not in the box.   In some ways I think this is analogous to my expectations of what marriage would be like only to find out that I did not get what I had hoped for.

 Even a good marriage by current cultural standards can leave us wanting more.  In both instances my focus was wrong and therefore I was disappointed.  As a boy my focus was on the presents that I was going to receive.  As a man my focus was on what having a wife would do for me. 

I had grown up in a non-Christian home.  My parents seemed to love each other very much.  They became my paradigm for what marriage looked like and that is what I wanted.  I became a Christian a few months before my first wedding because being a Christian was a requirement of the church in which we were married.  While I accepted and understood on an intellectual level who Christ was and what He had done for me there was no personal relationship.

I’m also reasonably certain that I had no idea of what “for better or for worse” meant but I was to learn.  A few years into our marriage my wife began exhibiting the signs of bi-polar illness with a touch of schizophrenia. We were married for over 38 years until she went to be with the Lord.  As for my faith, I had spurts of spiritual growth, but to say that Christ was at the center of my life, let alone the center of our marriage would be misleading at best.

It was at this point that my life changed dramatically.  I left a major corporation after 35 years and after a few turns in the road wound up working at a church.  My spiritual life had already begun to grow.  The Lord blessed me with an incredible wife, whom I met on line.  I know what a difficult marriage can be like, I also know what a marriage that has God at the center can be like.  The latter is far superior. 

 What I have come to realize is that my first wife was and my current wife is a gift from God. God knows who or what the perfect gift is for me and for you.  Assume that your spouse is exactly who God wants to use in your life to draw you closer to Him and to transform you into being more like His Son.

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