Monday, May 11, 2015

Run, Part II

The world we live in is at times busy, hectic, confusing, and overwhelming, and it is hard to do marriage right within it. There are so many things vying for our attention that is is easy to slip on occasion, and not keep our attention where it belongs; on God, on our spouse and on making our marriage work as it was intended. In our society there are messages constantly bombarding us via all medias (TV, the web, music, literature, pop culture, etc) that marriage is unnecessary and meaningless, and Christian marriage in particular is outdated and obsolete. It is difficult to guard against these messages; we all hear them. the question is, are we listening? Are we letting the world's message in? Are we making decisions about our marriages tainted by earthly values?

Did your marriage start out wonderful, but then the positive feelings slowly eroded, and now you find yourself wondering what happened, unsure of how you got here from there? Galatians 5:7 says:

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

In a race, especially at the beginning when everyone is bunched together, it is imperative to be aware of your surroundings to avoid being tripped up or blocked. Even when just jogging around the block, cars can back out of driveways in your path, dogs can bolt out from open gates, and potholes or uneven sidewalks can trip you up.

In marriage, there are a plethora of things that could be at fault for a deteriorating relationship. Pornography and erotica could lead to unrealistic expectations or hurtful ideas in the bedroom. Self-centered notions of pleasure and enjoyment delivered by commercials and advertisements could be at the root of reckless spending causing financial friction. Substance abuse, focusing on work at the expense of family, and even 'good' things like volunteering and ministry can be destructive if they are prioritized above marriage. We must be on guard against all these things, and more. Solomon states it this way in Song of Songs 2:15

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

In the book Stripped Down, authors Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo have a chapter on priorities. They state in marriage it should go:

1) God   2) Spouse   3) Family   4) everything else

Whenever something causes us to get these out of order, it becomes a little fox ruining our vineyard, or another runner cutting in front of us making us break our stride. We must be vigilant, and not let anything come between us and our spouses.