Married For Keeps
You know, some ways of the LORD are
very easy to accept and then there’re times when His way is a bit more
challenging and the price seems a bit higher, perhaps a price too steep
for us to consent to give. But, you know, in those times His mercy and
grace seem greater. These are the proving grounds, these are the
testings of our faith. I used to think that the testing of our faith
was part trickery and part unrealistic expectation, something akin to
being doomed to failure. O, but that’s not God, that’s not the God of
peace: the all-wise, all-knowing, all-sufficient, all loving God of
compassion. The enemy intends our failure at least and at most, our
lack of faith in God---God who has promised to never leave us nor
forsake us. So, when I share with you things that I am learning or have
learned along the way, I don’t share with strong confidence save the
confidence I have in and through Jesus, my Lord.
What I’d like to share with you
today is a message I have been mulling over and working on for quite
some time now. I’ll be sharing it in a couple of parts as your time is
valuable and I don’t want to overstay my cup of coffee with you. So
then, today I’d like to talk with you about marriage---a subject near
and dear to my heart, a subject that is receiving much media attention
of late. An institution that is under extraordinary attack and stands
to be destroyed---but God!
When I was a little girl, my
favourite part of each day at school was, yes, recess. I loved recess,
I loved playing hop-scotch and tether-ball and I especially loved
playing marbles. I had a little zippered bag with two handles and it
held my precious marble collection. I had treasures in that bag that I
dearly loved and absolutely hated the thought of losing them. Well, at
the beginning of the game we’d draw a circle in the dust; never content
to just play the game, fearing the consequence of loss, my question was
always the same: “Are we playing for keeps or are we just playing?” I
always feared the loss of my precious pink “cleary” marble. I probably
played a bit carelessly if I knew we were “just playing,” but with keen
competitiveness and extreme caution when we were “playing for keeps.”
With skill and determination of a professional, I’d guard that pretty
“cleary” and never let it out of my site.
O, even the other little girls knew
it was my favourite as I rarely took it out of my little bag and played
it only when I felt absolutely certain I’d not lose it.
When I think of marriage and the
sacred bond between husband and wife, I think of that game from time to
time. The Word says that husbands are to love, cherish and nourish
their wives---even as their own bodies. Wives are to be subject unto
their own husbands in every thing, reverencing them, as it were, with
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Both part of the whole, both
leaving and cleaving: two become one flesh. So, the marbles… marriage…
it will be a treasure to you and an heirloom for your children when you
determine to draw that circle in the dust---only playing inside that
circle, and further, when you determine you’re not going to just play at
it, but when you determine that no matter what, you’re playing for
Married for Keeps means forsaking
all others, you will do whatever it takes to not lose a single marble.
What are some of the marbles in the bag of one who’s married for keeps?
I’ll share a few of those in "part
two" of this letter. Until then, don’t lose your “pink cleary.” Your
children are depending on you to have it in the bag.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for
the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine
linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are
called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These
are the true sayings of God.