Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mooring at the Cross

I'm working on a review for a book concerning getting ready to marry (hopefully to be posted by the week's end).  It is like a convergence in my life right now:  the book, my daughter read and shared Fireproof, we watched the movie (of course!), a family member struggling in a new marriage, and my own reflections on the trials and triumphs in my own marriage.  Then the above graphic appeared in my private Facebook feed. 

I shared.

How could I not?  Within hours, however, I thought of the typical mindset of couples upon reading the above.  It goes something like this:

YES!  And I am always giving 100 but he/she isn't. 

Which inevitably leads to this next statement and/or thought:

I shouldn't be the only one ALWAYS giving 100 when he/she doesn't. 

Next thing you know there are separate households and separated hearts.

I know, because I once spoke these heartbreaking statements and I have known many others who have as well.  Men and women my husband and I will try to counsel through the sharing of our own testimony have fought to deny the Truth.  A testimony reflecting a give more like 5/100, with myself on the 100 end.  When my husband became a born-again Christian he apologized for most of his first year.  He recognized  and he repented.... for something I had long-since forgiven him for.  I share in-depth on how God gave me A Heart for my Husband here, so I won't restate the entire story now.

I began to cringe as the illuminated graphic stared back at me from Facebook.  It is such a GREAT graphic for those who know... but so many will read this and not know...

They won't know that YOU, yourself, need to always give 100%

They won't stop to consider the impact 100% has on any less percentage.

They won't remember the apostle Paul when he says:

To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
1 Corinthians 7:12-13

They won't consider WHY it is so important to always give 100%:

For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
1 Corinthians 7:16

I know I shared these scriptures in the previous marriage article, this is simply a reminder of how and when to reference them.  Marriage should be 100/100 but it often isn't... at least not 100% of the time.  I would almost restate the graphic to say Marriage is effort exerted 100/100. That is to say 100% of the effort we have available because, lets face it, some days we don't have much left.  This is where one of my favorite statements enter and washes away any need to keep up with each other's numbers!

Marriage isn't a give-and-take, a meet in the middle, in marriage we are meant to meet at the foot of the cross.

I don't have the exact quote anymore where this ideal came from.  I have noticed, though, when I quit looking at WHO is GIVING MORE and start just focusing on the cross, much of my stress rolls away.  Sure, sometimes I'm sitting at the foot of the cross alone (and sometimes my husband is). Doesn't it make it easier when you go 'looking' and you don't find each other lost and wandering but instead, you are drawn through your own troubles by finding the strength of your spouse as they are sitting at the feet of Jesus? 
It is like trying to pull a drifting boat to shore when the mooring line and ores are sitting on the dock.  It always helps to have one person on the dock rather than both in the boat trying to paddle with your hands until exhaustion sets in!

Realistically, I know, sometimes we are stuck in that boat together.  That is OK. Two voices calling for help is much louder than one!  Join forces!!  Seek the foot of the cross together and don't worry about numbers, who is giving a 100 and who isn't.  Lift each other up, spur each other on. If you are the one sitting at the foot of the cross, call out to the one who isn't, pray for them, don't give up. They will make it and perhaps your perseverance, holding and pulling that line, will be what God uses to get them there.

I pray your marriage is flourishing at the foot of the cross... whether you see 100/100 or simply the pleasure of your spouses company... and if not, I trust your, through your effort, God will make sure you both get there!


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