Monday, July 23, 2012

Someone is Watching

We hear statements all the time that make us scratch our head and think, “Is that really true?” For example, we’ve heard that if you lay with dogs you’ll get flees, that the music we listen to can affect us and maybe even that the movies we watch have the potential of influencing our thoughts and actions. These statements make us step back and think, “Are they really true?” Parents, educators, and psychologists have wrestled with these and other similar questions for decades.
            A question that I often ask myself is this, “Does the way I treat my wife matter to more than just me?” Are there others who are affected? I believe the answer to this is an emphatic, yes! If you have children, there are little eyes watching what you do and what you say. The way my two children see me treat their momma will give them an impression about how they are to treat and be treated by their spouse one day. If they see me treat her with contempt, impatience, and unforgiveness they will learn to think that is normal and suffer the instability that comes along. However, if they see me treat her with love, patience, and forgiveness, they will likewise learn to see that is the norm within a stable home.
On a larger scale, the way we treat our spouses matter because it speaks directly into the heart of your children. It communicates the love that Christ has shown to His children. The apostle Paul tells us that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave His life for her. And wives are to respect their husbands as the church shows respect and submission to Christ. (Ephesians 5:24-25). When a child sees their daddy sacrificially loving their momma in words and action they can get a real tangible glimpse at the love Jesus has for His children. Similarly, when a child sees how momma is honoring and respecting their daddy, they can get a real picture at how they will one day learn to have a wonderful respect and love for their Savior Jesus.
Someone is watching! How a husband and a wife interact within their marriage is deeply important for their children. They are watching and will grow to love their future spouse the way they see you loving yours.
So if we ever hear a statement wondering about if it matters how we treat our spouse, we know that we don’t have to stop and scratch our heads to think about it. We know that it does because there is someone watching.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Knowing and being Known

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the position where we’ve walked into a room and didn’t know a single person there. It’s perhaps one of the most awkward positions we find ourselves in.  Something about that scene is unsettling for many of us. Going from junior high to high school, from high school to college or from college into your new work environment, you’re faced with meeting new people that have no clue who you are. This is unsettling for us because deep inside we have a desire to know and be known. We desire deep relationships that go beyond the surface. It’s part of the way that God has designed us. He’s designed us to be in relationship with not only Him but others as well. And the more intimately we know and are known the healthier the relationship is. The closest human relationship that one can enter into is the marriage relationship.

The same phenomenon is found in marriage. We want to deeply know our spouse while having them know and understand us. Many times we don’t know how to communicate that truth but the reality is there. But the difficulty in this sometimes comes when we fear being open and honest with one another. And there are several factors that can keep us from being open with each other. Maybe we fear being judged, fear being rejected, or fear not really being understood or heard. There is risk involved when we become vulnerable with one another yet it is needed for us to grow together. But, truly seeking to understand one another crosses the bridge from giving lip service to saying you know your spouse to really getting to know them. The more you seek to truly understand each other, the healthier your marriage will be. Healthy couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world (Gottman). But if you aren’t seeking to know and be known, it will be easy for your marriage to get knocked of course when different seasons arise in your lives.

Let’s keep our spouse from being in a room where they don’t know anyone. Let’s try to know and understand them while being open and vulnerable in return. Through this, let’s watch couples grow closer together while they are knowing and being known.

--Sit down with your spouse and have some Q and A with them. Have fun with it and get to know each other again or for the first time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Beautiful Design

Have you ever looked around and wondered what on earth is happening with marriage? We desperately want to think of a couple we know or have been exposed to that really has a rock star marriage. BUT, we can’t think of one or remember the last time we witnessed it. Although the culture would disagree, there is something in us that still believes that marriage is something beautiful. The idea of two people coming together and forming one is a spectacular happening that communicates so much love and oneness that is uncommon. That’s why it’s beautiful.  Unfortunately, the reality is we want to see it in this light, but we don’t see many great examples.
There is a beautiful design however. In Genesis 2:18-25 there is a phenomenal picture of what marriage was designed to be. The Creator God had formed Adam fully aware that he would be well served with someone just like him to be in relationship with. So He formed the woman to be a perfect mate for him. And then after creating her from the side of Adam, God did something that was remarkable. He took the woman, whom He had perfectly created and invested Himself into, and handed her to Adam entrusting her care and well being to him. And we read that they were both naked (physically and emotionally) before each other and there was no shame. The two became one and were perfectly united in oneness just as the Godhead was and is. It was an awesome design that demonstrated the love and oneness of God thereby glorifying His name. So the beautiful design of marriage was first to demonstrate the oneness of God.
Marriage, wasn’t a product of the culture nor a way to benefit financially when two became one. It was a union that said everything about who God was and that was its design. It showcased the God who was three in one, completely united, and in complete oneness.  
So as we look around and fail to see the beautiful marriages we hoped to see, let’s remember that there is a perfect design. Let us aim for the oneness that was demonstrated in the first marriage. Let’s make our marriage a rock star marriage and point people to the original design that seeks to honor the God who created it.