Monday, October 24, 2011

The Quiet Marriage

Everybody wants to be seen, heard and remembered.

That often takes the form of making your voice heard or picture seen in the market place. Just look at the social networks out there and all the information given. The friend base that we have can subtly be seen as our fan club and the need to keep ourselves in front of that network. Our identity can be more in who knows me "out there" and remembers me than who I live with every day.

Yes, we all need friends and people to encourage us but we can get so caught up in maintaining those relationships that we ignore the ones right in front of us. Just ask my wife! I love people and thrive on personal interaction. This can too easily make her feel that our relationship is not enough. There is something unique and God-ordained about the marriage relationship that should be different from all the rest. It can't simply be one of many wonderful connections in my network but must be a special connection that I don't have with anyone else.

The quiet marriage is the restful marriage. It's a place where I don't need to showcase or network myself or have my voice heard. It's a place where I can rest in the love of my spouse and give that same restful love in return. Ideally, because we know each other so well and know the Lord I can assume a love that is constant, forgiving and ever present. In the purist sense it is a place that I can't wait to come home to. A quiet refuge where less is more.

That kind of marriage can only come out of our marriage to Christ. His uniqueness in our lives will bring a unique love to our union with our spouse. A love that is "...patient and kind...does not envy or not arrogant or rude...does not insist on its own not irritable or resentful...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." I Corinthians 13

Yes it takes hard work but for all the right reasons. Your marriage is not just another social arena but it is to be the place where the essence of the gospel is to be worked out and seen. May your quiet marriage be a place where the voice of Jesus is heard and the love of God seen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today and Tomorrow

How does today affect my tomorrows?

Each day seems to have its own agenda. I can plan my day but what about the interruptions? We are called to make the most of our today's but what do we do when our today's make a mess of us?! Too often we end the day feeling like we have wasted it rather than used it well.

If you have too many days like that it can definitely effect your tomorrows. You start assuming things that actually hinder hope instead of renewing it. Call it stress, depression or disappointment it just makes it harder to try harder.

One of the fist places this is seen is in our relationships. It can be hard to give to those closest to us when we feel like the day has literally sucked the life out of us. A bad day at the office or a bad day at home can be a formula for a bad tomorrow in our marriage. Instead of seeing our marriage and home as a refuge it feels like another burden to bear. Granted, there can be some legitimate issues of the day that wear us down but the subtle and dangerous assumption is that my marriage is another arena of challenge rather than a mutual oasis.

The call of the Christian life is to bring the presence of Jesus to bear on every relationship in my life and especially in my marriage. I want to live my life "in Christ" before my spouse believing that Jesus really is with me and is in control. The problem is I can't do that tomorrow unless I have been practicing living in his presence today. To merely put up with life until I come home doesn't really prepare me for bringing Christ home.

Jesus' promise is that he is with every one of our today's and there is no better hope for our tomorrows than that guarantee. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27 Jesus' peaceful presence is not another pill to take when I need help but a rock solid presence to rest upon every minute of every day.

Work as hard at living in his presence today as you do in surviving each day and watch what he does with your tomorrows.