Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Are We REALLY Ready for Marriage?

Hey Covenant Groupies,

Are we really ready for marriage?

Whether you’re single, engaged, newly married or seasoned in the exciting journey of matrimony, this question is posed to you - and me. Despite the simplicity of the question and the natural impulse to answer yes, there’s an urgent matter that needs to be addressed - perception vs. reality. To put it another way - happiness vs. holiness. To be clear, marriage is very good, because God said so. Marriage is serious, sacrificial, selfless and painful. Although these adjectives may read negative, they are some of the deepest areas of growth for each and every one of us - it’s where we choose to lay down our lives for someone else. The Bible tells us that these are some of the very things Jesus endured for all of us.

Too often, guided by the prospects we believe marriage to hold, we jump into marriage. Yes, literally jump into HOLY MATRIMONY praying, hoping and dreaming for some sort of perfection to manifest. We may deny it, because perfection is completely unattainable, but we’ve all gone through the fairytale stage. The wedding was perfect, the proposal was perfect, our spouse was once perfect and now there’s a desire to have a perfect marriage. Were we prepared for the reality, that even the most perfect spouse will fail us and the desire for a perfect marriage will NEVER hold a glimmer of perfection (complete) until God has total lordship over us and it?

However, as I said above, there’s an urgency in marriage and it becomes apparent when we face anything serious, uncomfortable, hurtful, tragic - anything that steals our happiness. Either we will use this as a time to hide and avoid or we will allow God to magnify His Holiness, not only in us but for us in EVERY situation. This all starts with understanding our need and desperation for God - for a Savior. Our acknowledgement of our lack can intensify His excellence. Are we willing to accept His role in our marriages?

We must be willing to admit that our Savior will use our spouse as an instrument to point out our shortcomings, the masks we wear, our awful habits and failures during the lifetime of our marriages. They will be the reflection we choose to believe as brutally honest and true or perceived. Can we handle that from another imperfect human?

There will be times of testing when our spouse will serve as the alter at which we must go to for compassion, forgiveness, and even repentance. We will find it difficult to apologize, ask forgiveness and repent for the wrongs we commit against them, yet our relationship with our life long partner is going to force humility out of us and point to the most authentic relationship we have with God and our mate.

For some reason we find it relatively easy to accept our spouse as our equal lifelong partner, yet we find it equally difficult to accept them as our primary accountability partner. We don’t want our spouses telling us who they truly see when they look at us, what they see when they see through us or what they experience when they interact with us. What will that feel like?

Marriage must be recognized for what it really it… a perpetual surgical process. At various times in the marriage, someone is undergoing a sterilization, a cutting open, a stitching and a healing. We will endure a refining process that God mercifully puts us through in order to develop a shiny new creation - continually.

Are we REALLY ready for MARRIAGE? Do you want happiness or holiness; perception or reality?

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