Marriage Tuesday

man,  i have great thoughts when i’m taking a shower.

i wish i could create a device that took the thoughts from directly inside my brain while i’m shaving my dome…and put them on a hard drive somewhere.   exactly as they are being created.

there must be something about running a razor across my scalp that inspires and excites the nerve endings inside the imaginative portion of my mind.   it’s a shame most of those thoughts get washed down the drain with the shaving cream…

but not last night.

one of the biggest problems i see in marriages is that the partners have not figured out a way to creatively blend two unique spiritual journeys.   let me put it in more common ( tho flawed ) church vernacular:  the husband and wife do not function on the same spiritual level.

you can say it any way you want,  but it all means about the same thing.   one side of the partnership has a deeper and more meaningful interaction with god than the other side.   one is sensitive to the movement of god and the other lives pretty much unaware of the presence of god.

one is serious and sober about kingdom values,  while the other lives in some state of disconnect from what god is doing in history…or their marriage.   one sees discipleship as a whole-life experience.  the other sees the christian life as an isolated list of activities,  usually reserved for one or two days a week.   one sees salvation as making sure they get to heaven when they die…the other sees salvation as living a life of obedience and selfless devotion right now.

get the picture?

throughout my life,  i have counseled many young couples to reconsider getting married to each other because they were not on the same page spiritually.   i have wrestled with the stronger of the two to put their marriage plans on hold and wait for the weaker partner to grow up.   i have listened to their passionate belief that their strength would influence their partner’s weakness.

and i’ve watched as their strength became compromised and their seriousness for the things of god drift into insignificance.   drowning people have a tendency to drag “saviors” down with them…

i have even seen a number of those marriages end in divorce.   i have seen even more of those marriages end up in kingdom irrelevance.

so here’s the advice.

to you that may be contemplating marriage: don’t ever be satisfied with anything less than total devotion and shared commitment to the growth of the kingdom from your potential partner.   you can (and should) compromise on a lot of things for the good of your marriage.   your common pledge to walk in the footsteps of jesus should not be one of them.

to you that are already united with a believer, but one who doesn’t share a similar passion for the things of god: stay the course.   be patient and understanding.   don’t judge or try to guilt your partner into deeper devotion.   live with spiritual integrity yourself.   do what jesus would do in every situation you can…especially in your interaction with your spouse.   find healthy support and accountability from others in similar situations.

find opportunities to serve side by side whenever possible.   read good books together so you can be receiving some of the same input at the same time.   pray for your partner.   give honest encouragement and feedback.  

but don’t ever lower your expectations for yourself or your marriage.   never,  ever.

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