Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Ended Marriage

"Til death do us part."

I recently returned from the funeral service of a dear friend, Allan Tibbels. His wife Susan said goodbye to her partner in life who spent the last 20years of married life in a wheelchair.

A wheelchair.

How can you have a happy marriage in that condition? Statistically you can't. The overwhelming majority of marriages in that condition end in divorce. Not in this case. It would only end when the Lord would call one of them home through death.

Their commitment wasn't to some shallow sentimentality of love but to the God of love. They had to learn even more deeply what it meant to be committed to Christ for Christ's sake.

And they did.

They had the common call of giving their lives to those most broken by life. In body and in spirit. They lived and loved in Jesus' name in the poorest section of Baltimore city. You can't rise above your circumstances until you lay down your life for Jesus. You have to give up your pursuit of happiness and sacrifice it at the altar of service for Christ. Both Allan and Susan would tell you it didn't come from them but from God. Their collective eyes were focused on others who needed Jesus and they wanted their marriage to reflect that commitment.

And it did.

Countless lives have been affected by a marriage that was broken in body but oh so powerful in spirit. Homes and hopes were restored and marriages as well all in the name of Jesus.

This is an extreme example but the principle is the same. If we say we love Jesus it MUST be seen in our marriages and lives. Personally and collectively we all have the same call. "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1,2

I want my life to be like Allan's. I want my marriage to be like Allan's. I want to be like Jesus - how about you?

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