Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Grass Always Seems Greener

It is Sunday morning and you, your spouse and three kids are running “slightly” late for church.  The anxiety and stress levels are rising, particularly since one of the partners believes that tardiness is the “unpardonable sin”.  Tempers begin to flare and voices begin to rise.  Alas, you arrive at church, put on a smile, and walk arm in arm into the sanctuary.
 
You begin to think what hypocrites we are.  As you look around you see what appears to be couples who are happy and filled with joy.  Look again!   There is a reasonably good chance that what you are seeing is their “Sunday Morning Persona”.  You know the same one you walked into the sanctuary with.

Theoretically the church is supposed to be a family, a place where we can be real. The reality seems to be just the opposite.  We would never want the person in the pew next to us to know that we were struggling in our marriage that what had started out as a blissful union had degenerated into an unhappy co-existence.  Do the math.  If Christians are divorcing at anywhere near the rate of non-Christians (and it appears they are) it is probably fair to suspect that there are the same number of unhappily married couples who are staying together as in the non-Christian population.

When and where did it go wrong?  Most likely your pre-marriage preparation wasn’t as important as planning your wedding day.  Most likely the concept of a covenantal marriage was not upper most in your mind when you said “I do.”  There is a good chance that at the first signs of disharmony you didn’t seek out a Godly couple or Biblical counselor to mentor you.  Years have passed, habits have become ingrained (I think that is redundant) and the “kingdoms of self” have solidified their position.

Is there any way in the world you think this is what God had in mind for marriage?  God never commands us to do something that comes naturally and/or is easy to do.  However if we are able to be obedient we will reap the benefit.  The benefit of a gospel-centered marriage, i.e. one where God is at the center of the marriage, is unprecedented joy.  That does not mean there won’t be disagreements, periods of the “grumpies” or difficulties with finances, children or health.  It does mean that overall the love you have for one another is sustained by the love that God has for you.

 Here’s a suggestion.  Come together with your partner.  Hold hands and pray something like the following:
Father, we know that our marriage has not been a blessing to You.  We know that we are not experiencing the joy that you intend marriage to bring.  From this point forward we want to commit our marriage to you.  We ask you to help us to change our hearts with the help of Your Spirit. Amen

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