Thursday, March 31, 2011

It Is Indeed Happening

That time seems to go by more quickly the older a person gets is no uncommon knowledge. Children, enamored with life, often live with an undirected joyful, aggressive enthusiasm that adults envy. Were children to have the knowledge and experience to match their enthusiasm, they would conquer the world in short order.

I find myself feeling like a child the closer I get to marrying Sarah. Our goal has always been to do things right, and I think that for the most part we have. We've had our share of arguments and emotional pain, but after four years of pursuing her I'm confident that we can work through anything with the Lord's help. Beyond ability, I'm confident that we will work through anything.

With this confidence, and with the expectations of marriage growing on me every day, I can freely say that I feel like a little kid in many ways.

The first reason I'll say that I feel like a little kid is due to the sense of timing that I have. The days seem to be going by me slowly!!! This isn't a complaint, because slowness of time allows the mind to solidly articulate thoughts and accurately analyze what is happening. Right now though, when my first desire is to marry my bride, slow passage of time seems more difficult to bear than it actually is.

I listened to a John Piper sermon on marriage last night. In it, he states that God had Adam name all the animals before he made him a helper Genesis 2.

18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone;(R) I will make him a helper fit for[e] him." 19(S) Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed[f] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and(T) brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[g] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a(U) deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man.
Piper notes that God observed man's loneliness in prior to creating a helper for him (verse 18 was the notation of loneliness, 21 and 22 were of the sleep and God BRINGING the Bride to Adam). Sadly, until I listened to Piper's sermon I did not understand that God paraded the animals in front of Adam and had Adam name them in the middle of this story. Was it to show Adam that there was no helper for him without another created in the image of God? I believe it was. Adam's loneliness must have been compounded as he looked over all of creation's animal life and realized that he was completely unique.

The passage of time was required for Adam to see his need for a bride - because the passage of time is required for the order of God's plan to come to fruition. It would be wonderful if I could pass the time over the next few months learning those things that I need to learn to have a successful marriage: to serve my bride, please the Lord, and be a good example to others.

The second reason that I feel like a child is my sense of expectation. This is a new adventure. Though I've heard "the big kids" speaking about marriage all my life, the only thing I'm confident of is that I can't fully know what to expect. I will be challenged as a man. My bride will be challenged as a woman.

The third reason I feel like a child is due to my fear of sacrifice. Marriages that take place with a Christian understanding begin at an altar. On an altar, blood is spilled. From the temple sacrifices to the altar represented by Golgotha, altars have brought new life from pain.

No one will die due to my marriage. No animals will be killed to incur a blessing. We both live under the new covenant of Christ's sacrifice.

And yet Ephesians 5:25 says I am to follow the example of Christ. I must give myself up for a bride. There is strong potential that sacrifice and pain will be involved in that. Lord, help me to take that seriously.

I often think that the reason we have so few men willing to make sacrifices for their marriages is that we have so few good examples in our society of this happening. We require good examples, which is why our civilizations have been built around sacred texts (with the best civilizations being built around The Bible), why fables and legends are taught to children, and why we prize the examples of heroes.

Currently, there are many bad examples of marriage. By talking about these in an "objective" manner, we make them seem acceptable to children. Just because something is normal does not mean it is acceptable.

It is with this challenge that I must enter marriage: The challenge to be Christlike to my bride. I fear I am woefully inadequate to meet this challenge. It might just be time for a personal revival.

So, I am fearful, expecting, and have a bad sense of timing. God help me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is well thought out and well written. Keep this humble and learning spirit - these are key ingredients in marriage!