Wednesday, October 10, 2012

1/2 Marathon Challenge, Day 10

So how exactly do we keep God at the center of our marriages?. First, of course, each spouse must focus on God’s will for them individually. I love the image of the triangle with God at the apex, and husband and wife at the two bottom corners. The illustration is that as each spouse moves closer to God, they also get closer to each other.

In Tommy Nelson’s video series on the Song of Solomon (one of - if not THE - greatest marriage-centric bible studies we have EVER done, by the way) he talks about how best to find someone worthy of marrying. He says run toward God, and look side to side. Pick someone who is running the same speed as you. Stay in the Word through Bible study, daily devotionals or a small group, and keep running with endurance the race put before you. (Hebrews 12:1) It is also important to pray, for each other and with each other. Openly and honestly pour out your hearts to God before each other. Not only does this give each spouse invaluable insight into their partner, but it also will lead to discussions that will in the end make sure you are both on the same page, spiritually. Paul knew that prayer was just as important as sex in a marriage, thus his words in 1 Corinthians 7:5: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer .“ (Of course he finished that verse with “and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” So ‘do it’ again after praying, you know, so neither of you is tempted...) Ahem. Back on topic. I have come to realize as of late that prayer is not just us asking God for stuff. Prayer needs to be a dialogue between ourselves and God. That means we need to listen at least as much as we talk, if not more. Or LOTS more. To do that though we need quiet, calm serenity, which at least in my life is a rare and precious commodity. That makes seeking it out that much more important. In Psalm 37:7 it says, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him,” and I have always loved the verse in 1 Kings 19:11-12 that reads: And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire was a still small voice. I read somewhere that God rarely yells, but he never mumbles. Is your life such that you can hear God’s still, small voice? Is your marriage an environment that fosters quiet time and allows you to be receptive, heart and mind to what God has to say for you and your spouse? If not, try and make it so. Have some time every week, or every day if you can where the TV is off, cell phones are put away and the computer is not on. Allow for some time of quiet, where you can meditate on the Word of God and be open to his will.

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