Monday, June 6, 2011

The Normal Christian Marriage

With all the emphasis on vital marriages today it's easy to feel abnormal or even subnormal about our own marriage. Charismatic couples who are on the speaking circuit seem to have incredible intimacy and endurance. Even in our churches we look around and feel like everyone else is doing fine but us!

Why can't we be like them?!

It's good and important to be challenged in our relationships but too often the message can be to model others in personality and practice and you will live happily ever after! We start believing the normal christian marriage is more personality driven than Spirit driven. This doesn't always happen intentionally but subtly we start trying to be someone we are not.

We feel guilty and frustrated because the harder we try the more discouraged and even angry we become. Real change is hard to come by and too often we assume the best years are behind us. Our hope sadly becomes in now trying to survive rather than continuing to grow as a couple in Christ.

So what's the solution? Do we just, "Let go and let God?!" There is some truth to that phrase but it can also be empty. It's not just throwing your arms in the air and giving up and waiting on God to do something. It's more about owning the struggle of how God is at work in us. The problem is not primarily a personality flaw but a heart flaw. God is in the business of making us look more and more like Jesus and we have the privilege of doing that as partners in this life.

This should be the normal call for all of us, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1 The challenge of the normal Christian marriage is the same as the normal Christian life. Too often we take our eyes off Jesus and look to the world for our example and motivation rather than on him and his promises.

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