What Kind of Marriage?

Her husband takes the letter from her outstretched hand. She dabs her eyes as he reads. His face falls as he realizes the letter is written by a dead man. “He died in the war” the army men told her two years ago. Now, she and her husband sit at their dining room table wondering what it all means.

Her husband, barely raising his head from the letter, basically asks, “As you read that letter, were you filled with regret about marrying me?” He continues, “I don’t want to spend the rest of our marriage knowing you’re only here out of a sense of duty. What kind of marriage would it be, knowing I have your loyalty, but he has your heart?”

I almost hear Jesus in those words. He is the bridegroom – the husband, and the cares of this world are the ‘other love’. Jesus calls us to be his pure bride – to come to him out of love – not obligation, sacrifice or duty. Our thoughts, our heart, and our actions – he wants it all; He wants our hearts – all in, dedicated, stand by him at all costs love... Anything less would be adultery.

Do you give Jesus your loyalty, but something else has your heart? Your desires and goals? finances? friends? job?  If we love Jesus, we will need to sacrifice – to put Him before us. Before everything.

Come to Jesus as you are – adultery and all, and present yourself to God. “Make the incredibly difficult decision to face yourself, to feel your rage, lust, and terror as well as your compassion, kindness and joy. Pretend about nothing.” [1]

When we bare ourselves to God (who sees what we try to hide anyway), we can experience his presence. When we get real with God, He becomes real to us. As long as we hide or try to pass off lip service as dedication, ‘what kind of marriage will it be?’

Helpful Verses:

“… I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God;
that’s more important than burnt offerings.:”
Hosea 6:6

“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

”Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

I’m a sinful creature who is drawn to fill myself with anything but you. It’s almost irresistible – the pull is so strong. It’s so acceptable and normal. Forgive me Lord, for believing you’re not enough. You are the only source of true and lasting joy and satisfaction – I am fulfilled by your presence. Nothing else does it. I’ve tried. I’m sorry. I come back to you, dirty and broken and wanting you more than anything else. Help me to cling to you – Lord, please cause every other joy, every other worry to fade in the light of your presence. Amen.

[1] Larry Crabb, “The Pressure’s Off – There’s a New Way to Live”



MTJ said...

Hi Kim,

Thanks for sharing a devotional that highlights the need for fidelity and love in our relationship with God. I've been meditating on the scriptures you included in this post and obedience is better than sacrifice. Often I've confessed, "I trust you Lord" but I now also find myself posed with the question, "Can God trust you?"

Blessings and peace to you this day.


Deborah Ann said...

Hey, thanks for joining me at Heavenly Humor!

I LOVE this post! (And your blog). I've been digging into this scripture: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" and your post really resonated that in my spirit...good stuff!

Deborah Ann said...

Love this! “… I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God;
that’s more important than burnt offerings."

That lines right up with this scripture "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

See, what He wants is for us to show mercy to others. And in doing that, we are loving Him above all else. I think I'm finally starting to understand what love is all about...

Faith Imagined said...

What a beautiful devotional! God wants all of us! With all our flaws and weaknesses. Amen!

Family, Money and Stuff said...

Welcome, Deborah Ann! Thank you (and Alisa) for following and for your insightful and encouraging comments.

Family, Money and Stuff said...

MTJ - interesting question 'can God trust me?' ... I think much of the time the answer is 'no', (the heart is deceitful - who can know it?) But I do trust him, and his ability to change my deceitful heart. :)