April 1-2, 2017
Back a few years ago, when my daughters were little, Gigi asked me, “Dad, what is National Atheist Day?” I was thinking hard as I hate looking dumb in front of my girls, 2 teenagers and especially 9 year-old Gigi. First thought was, “Everybody seems to be getting their own day.” As I was trying to wrap my head around this, I was also thinking, how did the atheists get a day…was it part of the healthcare reform zillion page bill? I finally caved in, gave up and asked her for the answer. “It’s April 1st … April Fools Day.” She is a little character.
We will tackle marriage today as the famous song from the Drifters and then Elvis Presley finally figured out, ‘Fools Fall in Love.’ Becoming one in Christ is God’s plan for husbands and wives. This spiritual, psychological, and physical union is truly a special miracle of God. Ideally, the intricate and intimate union of man, woman, and God is a representation to us of the Holy Trinity. Or the relational roles and interaction of a married man and woman is representative of Christ being the groom and the church being the bride, or us specifically as believers being His bride. But like all of God’s miracles, Satan does a nice job of squeezing in and dirtying it up. It seems so elusive and frustrating to attain that you almost have to be a fool to even try.
Today’s scripture states that a man leaves his father and mother to be joined to his wife. The “leaving behind” is usually pretty easy for most guys geographically (except maybe Italians and some other ethnic groups!), but a little tougher financially, especially in this day and age. But really difficult for both the man and the woman when it comes to leaving behind your baggage … like unhealthy behavior patterns, hurt feelings, wounds, neglect, abuse, fears, need for control, bitterness, resentment, a distorted narrative (or tape in your head) about who you are or who God is, or the unhealthy attitudes, prejudices, and mindsets you picked up from your growing up years.
In many cases, individuals bring this kind of baggage to the marriage, thinking they left it at home with their parents or counting on their new relationship to “fix” it for them. But for healing and corrected thinking to occur, openness and real unconditional love for each other with God, Jesus, and the Bible at the center of the relationship must be real. When these are left out, bringing this kind of baggage to the marriage will hurt the relationship and hinder the process of truly becoming one.
Satan will try to get you to look at your spouse as your enemy – the one who is keeping you from joy, peace, financial success, connection, purpose, your hobbies, your friends, or crushing your dreams. But actually, your spouse is the one God put in your life to be the sandpaper He uses to smooth away your rough and jagged edges so He can see His reflection when He looks at you. Sometimes the rubbing of your spouse is sensual, but more often it is painful until you wrap your head around the purpose of the rubbing. You see, if you were smooth and perfect, without any baggage, God wouldn’t use your spouse to rub you and you would experience no pain. So because you are defective, you need some sandpaper, so accept it and the result will be a glorious marriage and life!
Today, turn to Jesus for healing from these kinds of problems. Are there areas of baggage that you need to allow God to help you with in the process of “becoming one” with you spouse? Are you ready to let Him use your spouse to help you with your baggage and imperfections? Remember your wedding vows. Why have you broken the covenant you made on your wedding day to God, your spouse, and loved ones. We all break them, but be intentional about being “foolish” to the world’s way of doing marriage and choose God’s way. Whether you act foolish in your marriage and accept God using your spouse as the sandpaper on your baggage, or you act perfect and a know-it-all and think your struggles are all God and your spouse’s fault is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I know I brought some things into my marriage that I should have dealt with before getting married. I guess I really did think that this marriage…and my spouse…would change everything. But I realize now that my answer can only be found in Jesus. Forgive me for waiting until now to turn to You. Thank You for loving me. Help me through this process of healing. Help my spouse and me grow in our relationship and to truly be one in Christ. I pray this and all prayers through your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
As the Scriptures say, a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Ephesians 5:31
If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2