Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rescue Me

"Your spouse was a strategic choice made by a wise and loving God. Selected by him, for you, from the beginning of the world, your spouse is an essential part of God's rescue mission for your life."

The above quote is from When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey. In the book he highlights the challenges and the blessings of being married to another sinner - in Christ.

There is a lot to think about in his quote.

What if I really believed that God intentionally chose my spouse for me from the foundation of the world? This was His design for me that my spouse would bring out the issues of life in Jesus in a way that was perfectly suited for me. Your husband or wife is primarily an instrument from the hand of God to be used for your sanctification.

In a real sense your partner is there to protect you from yourself. The tendency is to see life from your own needs and perspectives and then determine how everyone else fits into that worldview. The fact that we get on each others nerves at times is not necessarily bad but could actually be part of God's plan to make us deal more directly with Him.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 12 tells followers of Christ, "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment..." To have a true biblical view of ourselves we need only go to the cross. You and I had nothing worthy of God's love but because of our condition Jesus took that judgment on Himself. To reflect on the price paid for our sins on Calvary will produce "sober judgment" as to how we view others and especially our spouses.

Our marriages are the place where the cross is to be seen most visibly.

We can't really reflect the gospel if we are more concerned with ourselves than growing with our partner in Christ. Be thankful that God, who knows best, saw fit to bring that person in your life to help you fall more in love with Him than yourself!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Panoramic View

I feel like I live most of my life through a narrow, close up lens. The focus is mostly on me and my circumstances. That could make for a very boring and monotonous movie - not to mention a boring life as well!!

The power of the movie screen is seen when the camera pulls back to reveal all the other factors involved in the scene or story. Whether it's a military battle, or landscape scene the story line is much more engaging and exciting.

I need a panoramic view of life!

As a Christian who believes God's word, the Bible, I am reminded in 2Peter 1 that "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..." The problem occurs when I loose that perspective. Peter addresses that issue a view verses later when he gives an answer as to why we are not growing in Christ as we should. "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind..."

There's that narrow lens again. When I only see what is in front of me I loose sight of the big picture which in Peter's view is to loose sight of the cross. The greatest daily challenge is not to see or worse yet, forget that "I have been cleansed from my sins."

What does that have to do with marriage?

I think we need a panoramic view of our marriages. To see as God sees. There is a lot more going on in our homes and marriages than just getting along. God is endeavoring to do a deeper work in our hearts that is centered not on us but on His Son. The purpose of our marriage is the same for the Christian life - to bring glory to God by becoming more and more like Jesus. The daily challenges and blessings are part of a bigger script and we need to be reminded of the eternal perspective of all that is happening. My husband or wife is a part of God's plan to bring about that work in my life.

What difference would it make if I knew that the script had already been written from all eternity? God had carefully and compassionately planned for my salvation and my sanctification. My role is not to rewrite the plot but to rest in Him and try to see the big picture every day. To believe that "for those who love God all things work together for my good and His glory."

May God make us husbands and wives who are even more concerned about the big picture as much as we are the daily scenes in our lives.