In almost every stage of life there seems to be things people tell us that we’re supposed to remember. From the introductory “look both ways,” and “don’t talk to strangers,” to the later in life, “look out for your brother or sister,” and “finish your homework.” Regardless of the age, we are always given things we are to remember and apply. But for all the advice there are some things we inevitably overlook, minimize or flat-out forget. We prioritize some, apply a few and discard many.
Almost six years ago a wise man told me something that’s resurfaced in my brain hundreds of times since. In fact, it has been so amazingly true in my own life, so textbook in the lives of others that I’ve shared this bit of wisdom in several conversations. But what I’ve slowly learned six years later is that this truth would have to be continually, relentlessly pursued. It’s not something one “just gets.” It’s not effortless nor is it something you can tuck away in the back of your brain and recall when the moment strikes. In some senses, I wish it was as easy as “look both ways.”
So what was it? It was advice given to a young engaged man, who loved Jesus and was about to embark on the second most significant commitment of his life. It sounded simple at the time…as it was simply this…”Your closeness to Him determines how close you are to her.”
I remember hearing it and liking it immediately, so simple, so good. In some churches whole congregations would of yelled, “AMEN!” But like wisdom we prioritize, apply and discard…I would have to learn that while I agreed with it and believed it, I will spend a lifetime trying to apply it. It was not simple but complex. And if I let up in the pursuit of Him, even temporarily, my purusit of her would be directly effected.
Six years later it rings more true now than when I first heard it. It’s a lighthouse on the coastline reminding me the way to a healthy, holy harbor of marriage.
The crazy thing about this simple yet complex truth is, I often overlook it. Life gets busy, my schedule changes, something new always pops up. Amidst everything in life I try to hold together, I end up miles off shore desperately in need of that healthy, holy harbor. So is she.
The devotionals, sermons, books and tweets are “spiritual fast-food” to the irreplaceable time needed with the Creator and His love story. The “dollar-menu” will get you by in the short term but like a tiny leak in the hull of a ship, eventually the ship will fill with water and sink. I don’t want my marriage to capsize.
In the greatest love story ever written, we’re to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Later, husbands are urged to love their wives, like Christ loves the church.
Fellow Christian men, may we be men who follow Jesus, love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and as a result, truly love our wives. May we lavish in the power of His words and experience a closeness to our Creator so we can truly be close to our wives.
My closeness to Him determines how close I am to her. May my marriage be a healthy and holy harbor.