I have linked up with Jenn to do an online study of the book, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. Every two weeks we will be posting our thoughts and reactions to a new chapter in the book. This week, Chapter 2.
Again, I am amazed by this book. It is providing me a new perspective on life, marriage and Faith and I am really enjoying it! This chapter talked about the similarities between God’s relationship with the church (and us) and our relationship with our spouse. Both relationships are loving, forgiving and require selflessness, commitment and communication. interesting, isn’t it? I thought I’d share some more quotes and thoughts as I read this chapter.
“If we are consumed with highlighting where our spouses are falling short, we will miss the divine mysteries and the lessons it has to teach us.”
James 3:2 tells us that – “we all stumble in many ways” – and I think it important to remember that nobody is perfect. When we focus on negatives of our spouse, that all we begin to see. I was in a situation once where I was with a group of people where they griped and complained about their spouses all of the time. You know how it goes: “Husband never does (fill in the blank)” or “I know he does (fill in the blank) just to make me mad” or “I can’t believe the he (fill in the blank)!”. Eventually, and I can’t explain why, I started to join in on the spouse bashing. Pretty soon I was more angry and frustrated with my marriage than I had ever been before - and for no good reason. It was almost as if I was only focused on the negatives (that really weren’t so bad) and it made everything else seem bad too. When I realized what I was doing and stopped, even started saying a positive thing my husband did every time someone else would say something negative, my marriage got a lot better and I wasn’t frustrated any more. Nobody is perfect, but if all you focus on is the imperfections, it all seems to start crumbling down.
“Will we approach marriage from a God-centered view or a man-centered view? In a man-centered view, we will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires, and expectations are met. In a God-centered view, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling Creator.”
“The first purpose in marriage - beyond happiness, sexual expression, the bearing of children, companionship, mutual care and provision, or anything else - is to please God. The challenge, of course, is that it is utterly selfless living; rather than asking, “What will make me happy?” we are told that we must ask, “What will make God happy?’
This really pointed out to me how selfish we all can be. If you are in a marriage as long as you are happy, then it really isn’t a partnership, is it? When God becomes the focus of your marriage and you and your spouse seek to serve him, then the marriage is about that and not about either of you. Interesting to view it that way and strive towards that.
Ok, that’s it for this week. Thanks for reading along, and if you are looking for a book to give you a new perspective on marriage and life, this is a great one. I can’t wait for Chapter three!