Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Worth It

Most couples that divorce give up too soon.

That's a bold statement but like many of us in this culture endurance and commitment are more conditional than we would like to admit. We are quick to justify our attitudes and actions but slower still to own our own sin at times.

A marriage counselor makes this observation, "And in this age of fast and easy gratification giving things time is becoming a lost art. This is particularly true when it comes to love." We are more easily frustrated and disappointed than we should be. That does not mean there are not times and seasons of hurt, pain and fear. Yet the call of the gospel in our marriages at those times is to grow stronger in our trust and relationship with Christ. When we don't get what we need from our spouse it is not the time to leave physically or emotionally.

Being forced to work through your pain and disappointment can actually make you stronger and more in love than before. That's hard to do when the "escape clause" is always in the back of your mind. When I don't feel like I'm getting what I need at that moment I start justifying attitudes and actions that in reality don't honor but shame Christ.

I think many of us as professing Christians give up on the Lord too soon. Many of those times when we seem to hit the wall in our marriages I believe are more about our sanctification than our happiness. Those are the times when God in his sovereign wisdom is actually manifesting his jealous love.

Jesus is not in the business of competing for our love. He's in the business of being our love.

If we were as obsessed with the honor of Jesus in our lives as we are with being understood and loved in our marriages would that make a difference? I am not making light of some of the pain many of us face but I am lovingly challenging the focus.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:38,39

What does that have to do with marriage? Don't give up until you figure it out.

It's Worth It.

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