Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A One and a Two

I just finished reading a book by Craig Groeschel entitled, Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage that Goes the Distance. Although the book is primarily targeted towards singles and engaged couples, the messages, principles, and stories Groeschel shares are equally applicable to those (like me) who have been married for several years.

Perhaps the idea that has spoken to me the most is this: my wife is not “the One.” Let me explain, as the author himself did after making a similar statement. When many of us are dating, we are on a mission to find “the one” for us. The person who will complete us. The one who will help us start a family. The one we’ll grow old with. The one to whom we subject our endless quirks, habits, and bodily functions. The one who puts up with us despite the list of those unspeakable qualities that make us uniquely us.

But, as Groeschel points out, “order matters to God.” In terms of priority (for those of us who call ourselves Christians), any mate – or potential mate – cannot be “the One.” Only Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son who died for us should be called The One.

When you look at the scriptures (which are the guidelines for all we do as followers of Christ), Jesus made it very clear what is most important. When the religious leaders of his day asked him what the most important commandment is, he responded by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Simply put, that means God takes first place in the hearts of his children. It’s not up for debate.

So, as Groeschel states, if God is #1 in our lives, then our spouse earns the title of Number Two. Not #1, and not #4. Two. Second ONLY to God Himself. When we put it in those terms, that sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?

Think about it. If your spouse were to say, “the only one who I esteem more…hold in higher regard, adore more…than my husband (or wife) is the Lord God,” then count yourself blessed! And, this is the way God intended it from the beginning.

And, if I am being quite honest, I believe this is the only marriage arrangement God will truly bless. Firstly, if someone (or something) has taken precedent over The One in your life, you will not be able to discern His voice. He’ll be speaking to you, but you won’t be able to see Him or hear Him.

Second, if you are married and your spouse isn’t Number Two, your entire household will suffer. Your work will suffer. Your prayer life will suffer. Order matters.

When God created Adam, he saw that something was missing. Scripture tells us that God recognized that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone on the earth. So, he created “a suitable helper.” Not a replacement for God. And, not someone to rule over. A helper. A mate.

1 Peter 3:7 says that “husband and wife are to share in the gift of life that lasts forever.” Another translation of that verse says they are “heirs of the gracious gift of life.”

Which makes it even more important that we get the order right.

God One. Spouse Two. And, if you have children, they are collectively Number Three (in case you were wondering).

Put them in the proper order, and you’ll see just how well-ordered your life can be – with God at the top!

No comments: