Friday, August 17, 2012
Thoughts from "Sex, Marriage, and Fairytales"
Today is my 5 year wedding anniversary to my wonderful wife!!!!
Marriage is not a fairytale. It is better than that. Fairytales may be full of "happily-ever-afters" and "once-upon-a-times," but they are merely a shadow of the real thing. Happy endings are the product of repentance and humility now. Real marriages have real sin and real forgiveness and a real Savior. Anything short of that is a glorified contractual arrangement. We get to love and glorify Jesus the more because our marriage so desperately needs Him.
In honor of marriage, I provide for your viewing pleasure this video by Jefferson Bethke (infamous for his "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus" video that set the social media universe on fire for a spell some months back)
"People do not fall out of love, they fall out of repentance."
What an awesome line packed full of power and truth. Love feels good and is easy to pursue when you feel its reciprocation. But do you love when you do not feel loved in return? Do you love when the object of your love is unlovely? What about when that cute wit turns against you and cuts you down? Can you forgive? Can you seek forgiveness?
Marriage is not primarily about happiness, it is about holiness with some happiness to boot. Please note: marriages should not be void of happiness. It is not in saying that holiness is the aim of marriage to say that happines is not a part of it. It is merely saying that "marriage is not," like my wife has said, "a permanent slumber party."
Ephesians 5 states that marriage is like the Gospel. A man and a woman become like Christ and His church. Marriage is more than two people having fun and cooperating to buy more expensive stuff than they could do on their own.
Jefferson mentions Romans 1:25 in this spoken word presentation. So many turn a spouse into an idol and get frustrated when their "god" does not come through for them. People cannot be gods to one another. At least not very good ones. You will never find yourself more frustrated with someone or something than when you expect it to be like god and it fails you.
People make bad gods.
***I realized after writing this that it could be taken two ways and both of them are true
(1) If you make a person your god, you will be disappointed in how ungodlike they often are. In other words, people do not uphold the office of god very well. When asked, we do not fill-in for God in convincing fashion.
(2) By our creative hands we make for ourselves gods (who turn out to be bad). In other words, we cannot make a god who is good. We only create/make bad gods. A god made by us cannot be more than what we have to offer.
Only God is worthy of praise and faithful to fulfill that which He has promised. If you are dissatisified or disilluisioned by marriage, perhaps it is because you are asking of it that which it could never produce. Marriage cannot be god anymore than your spouse can be. Worshipping the creative work of the Creator's hands never works out well for you or the creation.
Marriage is made of sinners united by a sinless Savior. People make promises they do not keep. We all have done it: believed ourselves better than we found out later. Marriage is hard work because dying to yourself is hard work and individuality is harder to relinquish the more time you invested into crafting it when "finding yourself" as a single person.
Great marriages are made of people who are great at forgiving one another because of that which they have been forgiven by a great God through a great Christ. Depend on Him and believe in Him. Devote yourself first and foremost to Him with all your hearts, mind, and strength. He will NEVER fail you. Marriage will. But that said, I love being married to my wife. I love my family. Thank you God for these wonderful gifts.