Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How's Your Credit?

We recently made a major purchase and it was really encouraging when the salesman told us, "you have excellent credit." He was basically saying that over the years we had managed our fiances well. We paid our bills on time and had a consistent reputation of reliability when it came to managing our finances.

I wish I could take the credit but anyone who knows me knows it is my wife who keeps our financial reputation solid. She has been good at making sure we don't live beyond our means and yet keep up with our promises.

What's that got to do with marriage?

What if there were people like financial examiners who could analyze the credibility of our marriage? What would be the criteria for determining if we had a good "credit score" when it came to our relationship? Many of us work hard to be consistent when it comes to managing our finances but how does that apply to the efforts (or lack thereof) when it comes to working on this relationship that God has given us?

In many ways it's easier to manage our finances than our marriages. Money doesn't talk back! To build credibility within our relationship you have to take personal time to listen, learn and forgive. The more we invest the greater the return. If I know my husband or wife doesn't want to just take the relationship for granted but to always be building and growing it makes me want to give more.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." I Corinthians 13:7

Just as we would never advise someone to wait until a financial crisis to begin managing their money we who profess Christ should not wait until we have trouble in our marriages. We should be working every day to keep short accounts and to build credibility into our marriages. The more credibility we have the more endurance.

Wouldn't it be exciting to hear someone say about our marriage as well as our finances, "You have excellent credit rating!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Did You Expect?

We all start out with expectations when we first get married. Some of those are spoken ahead of time while others get unmentioned. Everything seems to go along fine until one of those unknown expectations does not get met.

"How come you never call when you know you will be late?" or "I just don't feel like talking about my day when I come home."

The list can go on but the surprises can also mount up. It can even make you feel you don't really know each other if there are SO many different expectations. Is marriage just one new discovery after another of things you didn't know about each other?


That's not always bad. Marriage is also an opportunity to get to know each other better in each season of life. No one is ever fully prepared for the surprises in marriage but that is also part of the underlying expectation in our vows. I am committed as a husband or wife to get to know my souse better in every way. It's a lifelong learning experience. I want to know what my spouse expects physically, spiritually, emotionally and in every other way.

The problem is that we are both messed up people. We are not as objective and sincere as we might seem. We really want our expectations met. A favorite book of mine on marriage says it all in the title, When Sinners Say I Do.The default is too often more of what I'm not getting from the relationship rather than how I can get to know my souse better and love him or her more deeply.

Once again there is a clear parallel to our marriage to Christ. We are not trying to avoid surprises in our relationship with Jesus but to grow in our knowledge and love of him. "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made know to you." John 15:15

No surprises but opportunities to get to know each other better. To be one with Jesus as He is one with His Father.

Shouldn't our marriages be something like that? May the world see you two becoming more and more one in every season of life and may you look more and more like Jesus.