Ok. I'm not married nor am I getting married soon, but as I've been reading Captivating, I've been thinking about what it means to have Christ be my true love, my first love, my perfect love. I've been thinking about what my heart desires and how that desire/need is met. I want to be pursued...I want someone to find me intriguing...to see my mind as uncharted waters they can't wait to explore. I want them to view my soul as the Louisiana Purchase, something they have some sort of stake in, though they don't know what all it contains. I got this in my e-mail devotional, today, and at first I hated reading it because I don't want to read things that make me doubt my single status or that eat away at my faith in God's plan, but then I realized that this post wasn't just about the way a husband and wife should act. It's about how we should be with our Lord. We don't know God, and we should be eager to learn all about Him, though we can never even dream of understanding. We should take pleasure in pursuing our Lord with our whole hearts, growing in our love for Him. When we're in a healthy relationship with God, I believe we will be able to have healthy relationships with each other. Our love for God will spill over into our relationships and shape our marriages. It will be amazing. Check out Isaiah 54. It's pretty tight.
And here's my e-mail devotional from today:
"Behold, I am coming soon!" (Revelation 22:12)
Lisa and I went to see the movie "Seabiscuit" with Rob and Jill, two of our closest friends. At the start of the movie, I sat by Rob and Lisa sat by Jill, so that Lisa and Jill could share some unbuttered popcorn and Rob and I could assault our arteries with the buttered kind. But halfway through the movie, Lisa had to get up for a moment, and Rob slipped over to sit by his wife.
There was something wonderfully refreshing in seeing a man who has been married for eighteen years still eager to sit by his wife for the last hour of a movie. That simple movement said a great deal about Rob and Jill's marriage, and it personifies a biblical truth.
I heard of one wedding in which the bridegroom actually walked down the aisle instead of the bride, in order to capture the biblical picture of Christ -- the bridegroom -- going to his bride, the church. As Christ pursues the church, so the husband is to pursue his wife. (Note to future husbands: it's rare the woman indeed who would even consider giving up that famous walk down the aisle; I wouldn't recommend trying this at home!)
Marriage is more than a commitment; it is a movement toward someone. Husbands, are you still moving toward your wife? Or have you settled in, assuming you know her as well as she can be known, and thus turning your sights to other discoveries and challenges? Even worse, are you violating your vows with the "silent treatment" or a refusal to communicate?
Wives, are you moving toward your husband? Are you still pursuing him, seeking to get to know him, trying to draw closer to him? Have you considered new ways to please and pleasure him, or have you become stagnant in judgment, falling back to see if he'll come after you?
Jesus moves towards us even in our sin; will we move toward our spouses even in theirs?
Movement is about more than communication; it's about the force of our wills. Are we choosing to pursue greater intimacy in our relationship? Do we seek to resolve conflict, or do we push it aside, assuming "it's not worth the hassle" while letting our love grow colder? Are we still trying to understand our spouses' worlds -- their temptations and trials, their frustrations and challenges -- or are we too consumed with our own? Are we praying for our spouses, encouraging them to grow in grace and holiness, or are we tearing them down behind their backs, gossiping about them so everyone will feel sorry for how difficult we have it?
Honestly ask yourself, "Do I know my spouse any better today than I did three years ago?" If not, maybe you've stopped moving toward your spouse. And if you've stopped moving toward your spouse, you've stopped being married in the fully biblical sense of the word.
This week, why not launch yourself on a new exploration -- your spouse? Why not see what new things you can learn -- how you can grow even closer to each other, how you can give up a little more independence and embrace a little more interdependence? Why not make a renewed attempt to study your spouse every bit as much as a biology student studies the movement of cells under a microscope or a seminary student pores over thick reference books late into the night?
So many people say the "excitement" has left their marriage. Well, exploration is one of the most exciting journeys known to humankind. Most of the globe has been mapped, many times over -- but that person who wears your ring? There are still secrets yet unknown and yet to be explored on that side of the bed.
So get busy!