The rich soil of marriage

Men, this is such a huge issue.  Huge.  Marriage is under an all-out attack in our culture.  It is intense.  From countless conversations with men – Christian men – I know marriage is under assault in the church.  So many issues, so little time… pornography, money, in-laws, raising children, stress, past sins that still haunt us, unforgiveness, wives with no interest in sex, husbands too focused on sex…the list goes on and on.

If the marriage is under attack and we have the daily stress of money and the battlefield of work, it is no wonder that Thoreau once said men live “…lives of quiet desperation”.

We need our wives.  We need strong, strong marriages.  We need a complete, nurturing sex life with our wife.  We need the early comfort that only Eve can bring her man.  Not just the sex but the complete “oneness” that comes from a Godly marriage.

But many of us are not there.  Our marriage can appear dry and dusty like the dirt in my South Georgia backyard.

It is awfully hard to cultivate a lush garden in this kind of soil.  Plants struggle (gasp) for nutrients and water.  They wilt and it gets tempting to just pull the plant up and toss it.  But it isn’t the plant’s fault.  It is the soil’s.

For many of us, our marriage feels like this kind of dusty, void-of-nutrient soil.  We are tempted to just yank the marriage out and start over.  But we are being lied to.   Remember, we have an enemy who is the “father of all lies” and who seeks to “steal, kill and destroy”.

No, indeed our marriage – the covenant of our marriage – is not this parched soil.  In fact, it can be a lush, deep, nutrient-filled, rich soil capable of sustaining and nourishing life.  Given the picture above and the analogy to your marriage, wouldn’t you rather picture your marriage like this…

You know the old saying that “Behind every great man there is a great woman” is just so true.  My wife has the ability to build me up, affirm me, fulfill me, empower me like no other soul on this earth.  God knew what He was doing when He designed marriage.  He knew Adam needed a helper.  Oh how I need my helper.  When we are “off” and not connected, the rest of my life falters and I hit on about 5 of the 8 cylinders.  And when we are “on”, I can climb any mountain.

The covenant of our marriage IS this rich soil pictured above.  The years we’ve had together (22+) are rich.  We’ve raised two beautiful daughters together.  We’ve been through tough times together – financial stress, starting a new business, in-law issues, illnesses, etc.  Through all my ego, my desire to be something, my lusts, my greed, my failures, my hidden insidious anger…she has stayed with me.  Where I’ve gone, she’s gone.  My people have become her people.  Our two fleshes have become one.  She took my name.  She joined my tribe.

Through it all, we have remained together.  Bound together.  Covenanted together.  All based on that one promise… “that I will never leave nor forsake you.”  It is the same promise that caused Abraham to pack it up and follow a Presence.  That called to Moses and sent him into Egypt promising He would never leave Moses’ side.  It is the promise that Jesus came to deliver…that He would make a covenant on our behalf and that He would never leave nor forsake us.

Our marriages are all about the promise…

  1. The promise to be faithful and remain faithful
  2. The promise to stand by her no matter what
  3. The promise to never flee
  4. The promise to continually and steadfastly fight for her

And it is rich.  Men…it is so deeply rich.  This woman, this Eve took your name and joined your tribe and makes your house a home.  She raises your children, puts up with your occasional childish behavior.  Together you have a covenant and it is deeply rich.

So the sex life isn’t what it needs to be.  So the money issues keep coming up.  So the problem with the in-laws are still there (and yes, the holidays rapidly approach!)… and through it all … she took my name and joined my tribe and has stood by my side all these years.  It is the covenant that God designed and it is glorious.  Don’t let the world or the enemy lie to you and tell you otherwise.

Celebrate the covenant.  Love your woman as Christ first loved the Church.

Live UP.

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