Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We are a culture of conveniences. Whether it's the all night diner or the local Walmart we want to be able to get what we need. 24/7 is all about meeting my needs when I need them met. "Be open when I need you. Be there when I call."
On the other hand 24/7 can feel inconvenient.

Like the surveillance cameras that watch your every move. Or the cell phone that gives people easy access any time of the day or night. Or cyberspace. Is there such a thing as true privacy anymore?

Then there is marriage. When it's convenient, this 24/7 relationship is a true blessing. When we are in harmony we can't get enough of each other. We want to process all of life together and learn and grow with each other.

What happens when it's inconvenient? When we feel like we can't get away. When we are angry or depressed and the last thing we think we need is to have someone in our face all the time! You can feel stuck or smothered and think the best solution is to stop the 24/7 surveillance. Some seasons in our marriage are difficult and we get to the point we "feel" like escape is better than reality. Yet our vows call us back.

Is this not a picture of our marriage to Christ? When it's convenient it's great but what do we do when we don't "feel" like being married? Our relationship to God is unlike any other. There is no privacy with him. "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?" Psalm 139:7 David knew he was under God's surveillance and there was NO escaping it.

Praise God our relationship with him is not primarily dependent on us. His commitment is permanent and constant. He is conveniently inconvenient.

That relationship is never more clearly seen than through the love of his Son. The love of Jesus has sealed our marriage vows with God. He will never tire of us nor forsake us. His commitment is 24/7. "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 11:20

Thank him that today you have the convenience of his constant love because of the death of his Son. Live in his presence in the 24/7 of your marriage.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Marriage Filter

The television commercials for buying the more effective filters for your house make you want to go out and get a lifetime supply! Especially when they show you all the microscopic things that you are breathing in every day. Weird creatures and all kinds of molds that infest your home and children must be stopped!

You can literally breath easier just knowing those filters are in place. After awhile you take them for granted and no longer worry about not being protected. All you have to do is to remember to change them and they'll do the rest.

I like filters.

The reality is we all need filters. We also all have filters. Not the external kind but the ones that cover our hearts. No one is born without a filter. We read and respond to life based on the filter that lets things in and out. The Bible is pretty clear that there is no middle ground on this one. We either see life through the filter of God and his word or we process it through our own eyes.

What's that got to do with my marriage? As Christians this relationship is the place where the weird creatures and ugly molds spores have got to be cleansed through the filter of Christ. How I listen to and respond to my spouse should come through that grid. It should be second nature for the purity of Jesus to be seen and anything that is harmful to be kept out.

It's so hard to remember that when I'm feeling legitimately misused or abused. When life is not cooperating and I'm having trouble breathing. I want to pass this problem on to someone else and thus cleanse myself.

If I would but recall the fact that the filter of Jesus never needs changing. Nothing comes to me that doesn't first come through him. He will use all things to further cleanse me and thus have more purity come out of me.

How's this for a marriage filter? "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:30

Monday, May 3, 2010

Forever Young

Mirrors don't lie.

Whether it's that first grey hair or the growing waistline, we don't want to believe what we see. The billion dollar industry of fitness is too often our futile attempt to keep us looking young in the name of being fit. The image seems to be as important, if not more so, than keeping ourselves healthy. The fear seems to be that the older we get the less fulfilling life will be.

"Let's desperately fight the inevitable."

Look around and see how style and appearance have become SO important to us. Look as well how it has crept into our marriages. Wives wanting to feel good about their appearance yet sometimes having an underlying fear that the competition is winning. Husbands wearing outfits that would work better in a circus than on the street!

Don't get me wrong. We need to take better care of ourselves than we do. Our eating habits and lack of exercise have produced some embarrassing people! Yet as in so many situations the issue is more about motives than outcomes. Why do I want to take better care of myself - really? Too often, if I'm honest, it's more about me than my spouse or my God. I just want to feel good about myself. We all want that but in the end because of the effects of sin we all loose because we all die.

So what's the purpose of "staying fit?" As I get older I realize even more that I want to get the most out of this life physically and spiritually to prepare me for eternal life. I want to grow through every season of life with my wife and be able to see how God has been faithful to us in every way. I want to take care of my body as a vessel of the Spirit of Jesus so He might more fully be seen in me. I want my wife to be attracted to me for all the right reasons.

I also want to look into the mirror of God's law more than the mirror in my bathroom. I want to spiritually exercise so I can truly be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like." James 1:23,24

Let's look good so that Jesus looks good. Let's care how we look as a couple for all the right reasons. May Jesus be exercised in you both today and may the world be attracted to you because of the Christ who is in you.