January 19, 2007
Dearest Sisters ~
trust the LORD is helping you, guiding you, and providing
for all that concerns you and I pray you are well. I look
forward to writing to you each week and pray the LORD will
guide my thoughts and be my provision as I write to you.
Many things have come up this week — things that are hard
to hear, but don’t shock or surprise me as they used to do,
still these things grip my thoughts and grieve my heart more
than ever. As you might guess, these things to which I
refer pertain to marriage… more disappointment, moral
failure, distractions and infidelity. Each time I listen to
stories, when I hear of the demise of a marriage or hear of
another divorce, I grieve. I grieve when I talk with a
sister whose marriage is failing, or whose love for the LORD
has waned or whose become enamoured with the world and all
the seemingly lovely lures of this life. I grieve when a
sister ignores the warning signals, or moves through life
undaunted –as if unfaithfulness or infidelity or disloyalty
or dishonour isn’t appalling or more to the point: sinful.
I’ll share more about this in another letter.
Over the years I’ve listened to many messages, many
sermons. And every now and then a particular message or
sermon will profoundly affect me---will hit me where I live,
so to speak. Those are the sermons that some people might
say go from preaching to meddling. I like them – in fact, I
think, deep down we all like the sort of message that will
hit us where we live or impact us for change or shake us out
of complacency. I long to hear messages that boldly address
For most of us, hearing those sorts of sermons is pretty
rare as they are few and far between. We may smugly go
through life largely unaffected by things around us. We’re
not unruffled though, for we may every day get ruffled about
something. Everyday we may face things that get our
attention and elicit a strong reaction. But that’s not the
kind of reaction I’m seeking to address – I’m not really
talking about that at all – I’m talking about things
affecting us, things that prompt an about-face or a radical
change. Those things don’t seem to come along very often,
but when they do, you can believe that If you’re open, the
LORD will speak through many sorts of circumstances that
will have lasting impact for good on our lives and in our
homes. We might think of all this in terms of “dash
lights”—understanding what they indicate and learning to
watch for them to illuminate and then being “instant in
obedience” to act. I’m entitling this letter: The Dash
Lights in Marriage and I hope this picture will come to your
mind if/when you face warnings in your life. I do pretty
well with pictures –they stay with me a long time.
The Dash Lights in Marriage
When considering the dash lights in marriage, there are many
facets or areas we might consider –things we might think
about and do sort of a “check up” or evaluation to see where
we’re at and how we’re doing. I pray to be candid because
of the seriousness of the matter.
What do the dash lights indicate or what questions do they
Have I left my first love?
my walk with the LORD as it should be? Am I daily in the
Word, in prayer and meditation and am I intent on obeying
all known promptings of the LORD immediately? Do I keep a
short account of sins committed against God? I seek to
answer these questions and get right with God just now.
I willing to confess and make amends quickly? Do I keep a
record of wrong? Do I have love that bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things?
Does my love fail for my husband? Am I childish in my
dealing with my husband... am I petty? Do I seek my own way,
am I easily provoked and do I think ill or evil of my
husband or react unkindly to him? Am I hypocritical or
double minded in my speech or actions? I seek to answer
these questions very honestly and make necessary corrections
and get right with my family members and with the LORD just
my private life...
I daily striving to improve? Am I seeking to eat and live in
a more healthy manner? Am I endeavoring to be attentive to
my husband's interests? Do I seek to understand his world?
Do I guard what I watch, what I listen to, and what I read?
Do I guard my thoughts? Do I lust after the things my
friends have? Do I look around at other husbands and their
abilities? Do I compare them with my own husband or use them
as a measure of his shortcomings? Am I guarding against
negative or critical thinking? Am I remembering to hide
God's Word in my heart and to be daily renewed by the
hearing of the Word?
I set about ordering our home in a manner that is pleasing
to him, or do I simply seek to please myself in the
organization, decorating, scheduling and tone of our home.
Do I take into account his preference for how my day is
planned? Do I consider his suggestions when I have a
problem, or do I make excuses for my behavior and reject his
help. Do I respect his ideas and demonstrate it in my
behavior? I pray to be honest and to correct the areas in
which I have deceived or defrauded myself or my husband. Am
I secretly doing things my husband has expressly asked me
not to do?
I desire to be attractive in my appearance for my husband?
Am I attempting to be desirable to him? Do I find ways to
complement him and demonstrate to him that he is desirable?
Am I learning how to give him pleasure and am I willing to
learn to love him in ways that *he* needs to be loved---even
if I find it foreign to my personal idea of what's
pleasurable? (I am *not* talking about sinful behavior!) Am
I seeking to be pliable in my outlook. Do I manipulate or
use the marriage bed for personal gain? Do I play games with
his emotions or lead him on? Do I seek to know his "need
quotient" and find ways to meet it?
all the areas above, we can go before the LORD and with a
sincere heart seek to make wrongs right and to walk in His
ways, that we might make it our personal desire to "walk
worthy of the LORD, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in
every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
used to have a van that had no gas gauge, the speedometer
hadn't worked for years, and the dash lights were
undependable and the windows leaked. One would think that
this was a very unreliable vehicle and would likely think it
was time to take that van to the wrecking yard---it still
worked enough to be useful and we had grown accustomed to
its problems. Eventually it did need to be replaced.
Now we have a different van and not only do the gauges work,
but lights come on when something doesn't work – but you
know, at first I was so accustomed to ignoring the lights
that the new properly working lights alarmed me and it
became necessary for me to "relearn" to keep an eye on them
and to understand what they were signaling. I want to relate
something to marriage and use the van as an example.
Sometimes we become so accustomed to a damaged or inferior
situation that we learn ways of coping or side stepping the
problem. We may have ignored warning systems so long that we
are no longer sensitive to the serious adversity they're
indicating. But when we ignore the signals long enough,
they are no longer alarming to us and we don't react to them
with the intent to fix the problem, instead, we ignore them
to the point that they may no longer even get our
attention---or if they do, we might bang on the dash to get
them to stop. Then when the car stops running and/or will
not start, we acknowledge the problem and struggle to find a
way to repair it and generally the solution is costly. Had
we taken seriously the dash lights, had we taken note of the
needs of the vehicle in the very beginning and sought to
make early repairs, utilizing the proper fluids and tools
and kept the levels in check, and had we set up a
maintenance schedule, our vehicle would have been smooth
running and dependable. Now, you and I know that this
analogy breaks down at some point.
we ignore the warning signals in marriage, we may surely
wake up one morning wondering how in the world did our
marriage slip away? When did we first begin ignoring the
lights? Let's begin at this moment evaluating and praying
over the condition of our marriage, seeking God's guidance
as to trouble spots, our shortcomings or areas of sin and to
begin making the necessary, perhaps even painful repairs,
confessions and adjustments.
Are the Dash Lights Flashing? We can seek the LORD to show
us the way and begin making necessary adjustments today… we
know He is good all the time and His ways are best.
pray for you this day in your home and especially in your
marriage: "That ye might walk worthy of the LORD, unto all
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing
in the knowledge of God."
With sincere love,