I wonder how many of you were completely skeptical as you read through the previous two blogs. I think I would have been. I would have had a total disconnect I think. Perhaps it’s society, perhaps it’s life beating us down over the years, but I’ve seen it in my own experience and can completely understand when I see it in so many friends – our instinctive reaction in life is to take care of ourselves, to watch out for ourselves, to put up walls to protect ourselves. It’s completely understandable and even commendable in terms of being strong. Yet that is not God’s way…
I recently read a work of fiction, “And the Shofar Blew” by one of my favorite authors, Francine Rivers. One of the characters is a pastor’s wife who “submits” to her husband as he basically abandons his family in his pursuit of growing a church – all for God’s glory of course. It’s a great illustration of submission being completely misused and abused by a husband. This is not what God is calling anyone to. So what is our Heavenly Father asking of us when He asks us to submit? I’m not certain I can verbalize it succinctly yet… I know it’s primarily in the attitude of my heart.
"Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Isaiah 55
Are you ever surprised at the extravagance of all God offers us? I’ve spent many years stuck in not knowing how to access His abundant bounty; seeing the beauty from a distance while I experienced leanness of life.
This post directly continues the previous post, Life-Line.
Tim has frequently said that he should tell his side of the story because you’re only getting my side here, and he thinks he’s being portrayed better than he should be in the whole adventure. If he had been a jerk, it’s possible the story would be different. Although having said that, from my perspective it really didn’t matter what Tim did or didn’t do. This was really between my Father and me – as odd as that may sound.
So my changed attitude began by simply asking, “Father, what would Tim enjoy right now?” “What can I do to make his day better?” “What can I do to help him in life?” For any of you who have read John & Stasi Eldridge’s book Captivating, you may remember how significant “helper” is in God’s declaration that "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."1 They write,
“[Paul’s letter to the Galatians] gives direction in the nature of God’s gift of freedom – most necessary guidance, for freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.” Eugene Peterson
This post continues the story from Time of Crisis.
“Jesus teaches marriage is sacred and of Divine origin. ‘One flesh’ involves the unity of the whole person: purpose, physical, and life—a unity whereby the two become a new, God-designed, balanced life. They counterbalance each other's strengths and weaknesses.”1 It is designed to be beautiful, and yet most of the marriages I see are rocky to say the least. There’s not a lot of beauty. So what are we missing? Why are marriages so difficult?
I was talking to a friend whose marriage had recently ended and told her that from my experience, marriage was very difficult. She whole-heartedly agreed! I was completely taken aback when an acquaintance in overhearing our conversation interjected that she begged to differ. I was intrigued. She is about my age, is the mother of 4 lovely girls, her husband works in a bakery. Did she really find marriage to be not difficult? She said that before she and Wayne married, God had taken her “out behind the woodshed” and gotten everything straight for her. Hmmm… I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. But good to know there was at least one woman on the planet whose experience was different.