Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Full obedience to God- If not evident in the marriage, is it fully there?

Thinking on a discussion that's been going on 2 articles down entitled: 'Does "stuff" chokd the life out of your marriage?' ... I wanted to share a few thoughts.

Under that article Cocotte commented: "For me, I think it's the basic desire of wanting to feel attractive. Before marriage, it was a thrill for me to be "chased" by males. I dated a lot and it was a "high" in a way to have so many men attracted to me. After many years of marriage, I know I'm still in need of that feeling and I can only get it by having my husband initiate sex."

Cocotte's comment holds true for me. That was also my life before marriage. And, yes, we could argue that our self-image should come from God but in reality, it is normal and natural for a portion of that to come from our spouse. When it doesn't, the emotional intimacy between a married couple breaks down in direct proportion to how badly our needs are being neglected.

That is why I always say-- In our marriage, we should periodically look to the wellness of our spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy. Doing so will detect any lack in one or more of these three areas. If 1 or 2 of the 3 is lacking to any degree, the lack will be felt in all 3 areas and will be a symptom, alerting us that a mending is needed in the relationship.

We all sense a lack of some sort at least once in a while so it's nothing to be ashamed of unless we choose to ignore it. Using my years of refusing as a brief example--- I chose to ignore the physical lack GR was feeling so it caused me to fall into sin and wallow in it for many years. I don't blame GR one bit but as my refusing progressed and out of his desperation, he chose to ignore the emotional lack that I was feeling. There we were, both of us ignoring the sin and both of us ignoring how God truly wanted us to relate to each other. That continued until each of us wised up and began listening to the voice of God.

And Tractor, I'm not relating this to your marriage or anyone else's so please, nobody take offense to what I'm saying here. This was a concept of Christianity that took YEARS for GR and me to begin understanding.

Each of us can say we have a God-centered marriage if we sincerely believe that we are a Christian. GR and I said that for years but it was while we lived in unconfessed sin. Unless both spouses are fully obeying God within the marriage relationship and both spouses have a desire to please God and to please each other... well, let me say it this way---- I can pour pizza sauce over myself and say I am "a pizza" and even look and smell like a pizza but that won't turn me into a pizza, will it?

Living in a Christ-centered marriage requires us to possess a deep, heartfelt relationship with God and with our spouse. God looks to our heart's inner chambers, the secret place, to see how we relate to Him. When GR and I kept our Christ-centered life outside the marriage separate from how poorly we related to each other and how little we obeyed God inside our marriage, we fell waaaaaaaay short and couldn't help but feel the aftermath in our relationship.

I would be so bold as to say that marriage relationships slip before any other area of our Christian walk. Would it be appropriate or accurate to assume that for a married couple, the true measure of obedience to God can be seen within the confines of the marriage relationship? Can we say that if we don't see the full obedience to God in our marriage, then perhaps it is not fully there?


Cocotte said...

WOW.........I couldn't agree more with you that marriage relationships do seem to slip first. I've seen it time and again, esp. at this stage of life when the mid-life crisis hits many households. While we can't expect our spouse to fulfill every need, it is still the closest relationship we have on Earth to the relationship that Christ wants to have with us. I do believe that obedience to Him (or lack thereof)can be seen played out in a marriage.

tractor said...

Yes, I do agree that how our marriage goes is a good indicator of our real walk with God.

While reading this I thought of a word picture our pastor who married us told us.

He said to think of your marriage as a triangle with God at the top, and each of you at opposite bottom corners. As each of us focus on God and walk towards Him, we grow closer to God and each other.

I always found this to be a very helpful image, but very hard to live.

Another analogy he used was that we both start out marriage as chunks of coal, but as we bump and rub against each other, the friction turns us into diamonds.

So much for the romantically blissful happily ever after idea of marriage.

Gemma said...

As a Christian, it does put in right perspective, the importance of fully treating our spouse with love and respect. When we do this our obedience to God can't help but improve. They say we easily and often hurt the ones we love the most. For many of us, that would be our dh first and then our kids. Daily, we need to be reminded that "hurting spouse = disobeying God".

Is it just me or do others see this--- We hurt those outside of our household and we are devastated, filled with guilt, want to quickly confess it and change our ways. It's easier to be nice and considerate to others and then we say, "See, God, look how good a Christian I am. Everyone can see that I'm not like others."

What scripture passage does that remind us of? Read Luke 18: 9-14.

We hurt our spouse through emotional or sexual neglect or abuse and we have more of a tendency to put off doing what we know we ought to do which is, confess it and begin meeting our spouse's needs because that is the ultimate way we please and obey God.

Obedience to God in my marriages first; this is my primary calling. If I can't obey Him in my marriage I might as well not think about obedience when I'm around others.

Thanks cocotte and Tractor for your comments.

Anonymous said...

This blog post has really struck a chord with me. I think you are totally right. I will be prayerfully considering this.