Monday, October 18, 2010

 What if there is a higher purpose to this thing called "marriage"?

I got sick first. Miserable really, but not sick enough, by anyone else's standards, to stay in bed and take a sick day.

Oh wait; I don't get sick days...  I keep forgetting that.


Runny nose, swirling head, tingling ears, horribly sore throat.

None of my mommy duties or household duties got the memo...

One by one the kids started getting it,


...and then Dave got it.


Men handle sickness... different than women do {that's all I'm sayin'}.


He worked a half day on Friday and then was able to take... some sick time and come home.


I was exhausted and still not feeling 100% myself. A group of lovely women had invited me to a "spa night" that night. He said it was fine if I went as long as I fed the kids and had them as ready for bed as possible so that he didn't have to deal with all of that.

Because he was sick.

He didn't feel well.


That's when the evil little voice in my head began to scream.


"I don't feel well either! I don't get sick days! Who fed the boys for me when I felt like crap?! Who laid out their jammies? Where was MY four hour nap? And PAID sick time??! Where?"

"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"

He was very quiet on Sunday. Tired and contemplative. Today is his first day of school. Plus eight hour work day. It was alot for him to think through yesterday. There are alot of unknowns for him. Of course he was quiet as he processed some of these changes. That is his signature characteristic when alot is going on. Man of few words.


My love language is words. I wanted words. I hadn't seen much of him and felt some what disconnected. Yeah, he has school coming up, yeah, he's had alot going on.... but why isn't he focused on me?


"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"


I needed to get some groceries. I had stayed home from 3 planned family activities in the last few days with sick kids. I really felt the need for a little bit of space and time away.

I told him I was leaving to run some errands for a while. I shoved a stack of K's homework towards him. It needed to be done. And I was declaring myself off duty. 

I saw the tired lines around his eyes. I paused as I noticed the slight droop to his shoulders. But then I left. 

And as I sat at the red light a few minutes later, all I could think of was

"What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"

If you hadn't guessed yet, I am reading this book called, "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas.

And, um... if you hadn't noticed yet, it is a bit on the convicting side.

I'm only a couple of chapters in, so I can only imagine how much more this book is going to haunt me sharpen my character.

Our culture would say, "I deserve me time! Focus on me. I don't care what you are going through, meet MY needs."

And we are called to break out of this me shaped thought process.

Do we need rest and time away? Yes. Does God know exactly what we need? Indeed. If we jump ahead of him and try to make sure that we "get" what we "need" {cause you know, the creator of the universe may not come through for us...} we will very often miss something so far beyond beautiful. We will be settling.

God has placed some one in my life whose very presence can help to make me into the person I was intended to be. 

Stop.

Think.

Consider {some one other than myself}.

What does he need?

What would put a smile on his face?

What would help shoulder the burdens he carries?

I am learning this:

When I take my eyes off from myself, and minister to the needs of the one whom I have promised my life to, my real needs are met so much more efficiently and completely than when I run past compassion and encouragement and grasp at my "rights", what I "deserve", and want.

"To spiritually benefit from marriage we have to be honest. We have to look at our disappointments, own up to our ugly attitudes, and confront our selfishness. {Bleh!}We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. Most of us have discovered that these few "simple steps" work only on a superficial level. Why is this? Because there is a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how can we "improve" our marriage: What if God didn't design marriage to be "easier"? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond or happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? 

What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? What if, as de Sales hints, we are to accept the "bitter juice" because out of it we may draw the resources we need with which to make the "honey of a holy life"?"

Quote taken directly from "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas (Except the "Bleh". That was all me)

12 comments:

Anne Elizabeth said...

Excellent post, and very convicting! I think I need to read this book!

Leslie said...

WOW WOW WOW....

OFF TO LOOK ON AMAZON.

love that thought process, it may now haunt me... as well.

BaronessBlack said...

Hmmmmm! It's a difficult thought to run with, isn't it? I'm going to go ponder that some more.
Hope you're all feeling better!

The Sneaky Mommy said...

I read this book awhile back and *obviously* need to read it again! Such good stuff...such a short term memory! Thanks for the awesome reminders and the real-life examples! So easy to relate! I want to grow in this area, too!

BaronessBlack said...

Was speaking to a friend of mine (who used to be a nun) who pointed out to me that marriage is a vocation too. I don't think I'd thought about it in quite those terms before.
Steeeep learning curve!

Jane Kaylor said...

hope you are getting better… sore throat is not a lot of fun its just uncomfortable and difficult to swallow.

usually, i would take the Nim Jiom Cough Syrup (www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm ) which has a thick consistency formulation. it coats the throat and includes herbs that are particularly good for that application.

i hope it works on you as well.

Jenn said...

Oh Wendi, this pricked my heart! I have struggled with such selfishness in this area. Thinking the thoughts you have shared with us. I am writing that quote in bold writing and placing it on my bulletin board.


THANK YOU for sharing this!!!!

Rach@In His Hands said...

Wow, this made me stop and really think, Wendi. My selfish, sinful heart {definitely} doesn't always want to put someone else first - not even my husband. Thank goodness Jesus did just that...for everyone!

"When I take my eyes off from myself, and minister to the needs of the one whom I have promised my life to, my real needs are met so much more efficiently and completely than when I run past compassion and encouragement and grasp at my "rights", what I "deserve", and want."

Powerful words! Praying daily for this in my life!

Megan said...

I am BUYING this book! Thanks, so many of your "examples" sounded all too familiar!
What a wonderful reminder of what our marriages are truly intended for!

Lindsay said...

wow ... I think I needed to read this last week ... but I for-sure needed to read it today ... good song with it too!

Love to you & THANKS!

Trisha said...

Justin and I have read this book too, and I have passed it on to someone else. It is so convicting! I was driving yesterday, and was feeling a little "miffed" at Justin and I remembered your post. I quickly prayed and asked for wisdom and the choice to honor my husband. Thanks for sharing!

Lovin' Life said...

Thank you for this post. I really needed to hear this. Thanks for sharing!