“What I see is people trying to recreate the honeymoon as much as possible, while neglecting the marriage. Weddings can be wonderful and spectacular— and honeymoons even more so— but the weddings and honeymoons are there because of a desire to be married. How can you learn what marriage really is if all you do is try to recreate certain moments of bliss?”
I have just finished reading a very interesting book which details some of the issues that may describe many of our churches. The format of the book by Matt Orth called Questions of a Curious Nature, is that of a reporter who is interviewing a collection of interesting historical and other ‘creatures’ ranging from Vikings, deacons, the Devil. True Love, King David, Fear and others. It is a satirical journey which will cause you to ponder some of the intent and motivations behind our personal and collective spiritual lives. You may feel uncomfortable at times when you see aspects of yourself in her interviews.
The quote above comes from an encounter with a young lady who has apparently separated the emotional aspects of praise and worship from the object of that worship. She is constantly seeking the next praise music fix to get her through the rest of the week. Living for that next blissful moment. I was moved by the authors use of the marriage relationship to our relationship with God. Are we trying to recreate the honeymoon while neglecting the marriage? That last phrase about not knowing what marriage really is because we only try to recreate the moments of bliss was very revealing to me. Do I realize that a Bride relationship with God includes both the valleys and the mountain tops? That a marriage is a daily journey where Bride and Groom share the suffering as well as the victories -That often the path to the victory is by way of the suffering?
Our society hears so much nowadays about the increase in divorces. Isn’t it ironic and perhaps revealing that the Bible uses a Marriage analogy to represent our relationship with God as well. Do we share the same level of commitment to God as some share with their earthly spouse? We grow closer as we share moments with each other. We persevere as we adjust to the demands of daily life. I believe the optimal word here is persevere. I cannot help but be reminded of the soil analogy in Scripture. The soil that is prepared for the seed thrives while the others are choked away or never even take root. They were unprepared for what was coming and the demands that this new life would place on them. When a person accepts Christ, He demands all. The Christian life is one of submission as we submit both the trials and the victories to Him. We don’t go about life getting our ‘church fix’ each week. All that will do is create anemic Christians.
Marriages often fail when the heart and mind become distracted by the things we feel we are missing out on. If God possesses no more of our lives than to satisfy our momentary needs or fixes then we will tire of Him as well. And the sad news is that many have already tired of Him. Now I will not judge the truthfulness of their salvation or experience. That is between them. But I will ask that we all do a little reflection on that relationship. Is it a marriage or just a honeymoon?
Orth, Matt. Questions of a Curious Nature (p. 116). Edges of the Map Press. Kindle Edition.