Day 21: Choosing relationships
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
Psalm 128: 3-4
What does a relationship with God look like? One glimpse of this divine relationship can be seen in marriage.
Romance is splendid. There is no doubt about it. To find someone whose sentences you can finish, whose touch makes you dizzy, who looks at you and sees the person you have always hoped you would turn out to be—that is as good as it gets. Romance is a pure gift, the kind of love you do not have to work at. It happens, that is all, like a cool shower on a hot summer’s night. All you have to do is have the good sense to stay out in it, opening your arms and turning your face to the sky.
A covenant, on the other hand, does not just happen. It is entered into very deliberately—a conscious act by two people who mean to have a life together. It includes promises and limits. It binds and it frees. It may begin with romance but it does not end there. After the shower is over, covenant partners start to plan the garden, disagreeing about where to put the asparagus and whether to spray the tomatoes this year. . .
When I married eleven years ago, I remember being amused at all the advice I received. “Never let the sun go down on your anger.” “Don’t wear old t-shirts to bed.” “Always be the first to say you’re sorry.” The one that puzzled me the most at the time was, “The secret of a happy marriage is for both of you to give one hundred percent.” Why one hundred? I thought. Why not fifty? Wouldn’t it work just as well if we both gave fifty? Eleven years later, I understand. There are times when your grip just fails and the other person has to do all the holding on for both of you. Then you get a second wind and it is your turn to hold on, while your partner scrambles to get back on board. Barbara Brown Taylor, Gospel Medicine
Is your relationship with God more of a romance or a marriage? Even if we let go, God doesn’t lose his grip.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.