Friday, 18 January 2013

Positionally Speaking

 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Psalm 85:10

In an interesting post by Dennis Rainey, President of Family Life, he described American marriages as being in one of three formations.  The first he entitled “Face to Face”.   This position describes, according to Rainey, the typical newlyweds “cruising down the highway of life…fingers entwined…affectionate, etc.”  The next posture he describes is “Side by Side”.  He describes this couple as doing life together with kids in tow.  “Their relationship is showing signs of strain…sometimes it takes everything they have got to stand beside one another as they make it through the day. “Back to Back” is how Rainey described the third pairing.  “They are like a ship passing in the night…their house is more of a hotel than a home.  Friction, harsh words, verbal jabs and anxiety have replaced intimacy.”  Unfortunately this is not a pretty picture but what I believe is all too accurate.

This progression does not have to be a foregone conclusion.  IF God is truly at the center of a couple’s marriage they can, as Rainey suggests, walk through life “arm in arm”.  This couple walks at the same pace and in the same direction.

What does that mean?  From my perspective it means they have a vision for their marriage – a vision to glorify God.   They are in a covenant relationship, meaning they are committed to each other for life, there is no exit strategy.  They anticipate that there will be bumps in the road, as you would expect when two sinners join together in holy matrimony but they use those periods as growth opportunities.  They seek to do God’s will for their lives, they pray together, and as much as humanly possible love and respect one another as spelled out in Ephesians 5:21 to 33.

Marriage is to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship to his bride (the Church).  The husband is to love his wife with the same intensity and intentionality that Christ loves his bride.  The wife is to respect her husband in the same way that the Church should respect their Savior.  This glorifies God because this couple radiates love, for each other and for those with whom they come in contact.

The good news is that if you are in one of the positions described by Rainey, i.e. face to face, side by side, or back to back it is never too late with God’s help to transform your marriage into one that honors Him.  It just requires that you come together in prayer, recommit your marriage to Him and then apply the litmus test of “Did what I just do, or not do glorify God?”  “Did my tone of voice or my words glorify God?”


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