Marriage was my biggest idol. It towered high above all others. Relationships were my kind of high. My addiction, my driving force. A hunger that would not surfeit. My agreeable illness. My kind of madness.
Relationships were my instant genuflection to the idol called marriage. See, I loved marriage. I guess it was first the picture of mam and dad just holding hands, gazing into each other, giggling, talking late while we retired and everything else they seemed to do together. It was beautiful. Then the weddings. I loved the white gown. Brides looked too beautiful to be true. my heart ached for that.
My interest was piqued and so was my desire to be like them. So I vowed never to settle for anything less than a relationship that would culminate into marriage. It was a good desire because it shielded me from investing in relationships that “wasted my time.”
I longed for relationships that had longevity. I was never casual. If a relationship hinted anything less than serious, I didn’t waste a breath on it.
Well, as good as my desire was, it was soon overtaking me. Galatians 5:24 says, those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, in retrospect, i had not yet crucified mine.
That is the thing about having desires which are not stacked against Christ. They begin competing for the same space, time and everything that Christ should have.
I began letting my guards down. As long as the man was good, seemed serious, but his relationship with Christ was shaky, I gave it a try. Christ was blurred. He was somewhere behind the scenes. Running to him wherever my heart was broken but never regarded Him anyway. My love for relationships, was clearly my god.
The HolySpirit was hunting me down, daily, whispering to my conscience that the road I am trending on has glaring signs of “death” and I worked twice as hard to hush that still small voice.
I gave numerous excuses too, “Am a Christian, I will change him”, “I will pray for him more”, “I will initiate a church talk.” The tug would continue for days, months, even years, and it would leave me completely drained and empty. I expected those relationships to give me total peace, security, acceptance, validation, but one by one, the Lord disqualified and faded them all into oblivion.
I struggled to keep all afloat including myself.
The idol of marriage was demanding more than I could ever give. So the Lord in His mercies always made my relationships end – painfully. I didn’t see it that way. The devil was close by you know. Playing his poker game and wild cards on me, “are you sure God is still good to you?”
It wasn’t until I destroyed the curved idol that I bowed to every minute and every hour. He took His place in my heart, in my soul and in my mind. My strength was not directed to looking good for any man, but to adorn myself for Him.
To submit to his wine press and bring out a new wine for this new skin He was making out of me. Marriage had to cease to be my god.
Was I a Christian? I was, but I had marriage as my little caricature. I played to its tune. I was devastated when things never seemed to align themselves to my “marriage goals.” God became second to my “love for relationships and marriage.”
So God had to renew me again. He needed me to focus on Him completely and never a human being, no matter how deeply attached I feel towards them. My husband was never going to be my peace, joy, strength and all. God was. It would be a cosmic impossibility to make my husband my all-time help.
That was a lesson God had to teach me before walking down the aisle, lest I make my husband a god too! You see nothing is spiritually hazardous than the pursuit for marriage. God is always trying to reach down to us, save us from ourselves and even those relationships we hold so tightly on – but sadly most of us are fixated on marriage.
Of course my husband helps me as God enables him to. Marriage definitely grows one. It is beautiful, has to be stable and give you security – but marriage itself cannot be our ultimate help. God is.
Before anyone could make us happy and contented in marriage, we ought to be contented in God alone. Before we give our hearts away in marriage, He ought to have held them together and had our hearts way before anyone else. Before we say ‘I DO’ to our spouses, we ought to have said ‘I DO’ to Christ.
Marriage is not a panacea for happiness and contentment. Christ is. He is the only antidote to an empty soul for only He can fill the God hole He has set in our hearts.
Johnny and I fail each other, we argue, we disagree, we hurt each other, so who do we run to when we seem to be on different pages? Who causes us to have peace again when we seem to be each other’s adversary? Who brings us joy when we are blaming each other for every little thing that is going wrong?
Marriage is good, it’s to be desired, but it should never ever be a god to serve.
It should serve as a tool to fulfill our God given purposes. It should draw us closer to God not further. It should bring us to the cross, where we look onto Jesus as the author and perfecter of the gift he has given us, not to each other.
Marriage should help us identify our souls deficits and heed to the need for a Savior. Marriage should sanctify us for God’s work. It should train our hearts into obedience of God.
It should bring forth fruits of the HolySpirit, and turn our children into disciples of Christ. More than anything else, marriage should serve as a tool to completely annihilate every rooted idol – the idol of Pride, the idol of self, the idol of control, the idol of self preservation.
Love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, that is where all begins. That is what carries every marriage through its strength, that’s what carries every marriage though its lowest ebb, and that is where the hard fought race ends, with God.
When marriage ceases to be your God, He not only directs your paths to His right fit for you, but gives you a new set of lenses.
Your spouse becomes a co-worker with you in the vineyard of the Lord. You serve as unto the Lord, not as unto your spouse. Your spouse becomes a beneficiary of your right stand in Christ. You cease to compete against each other and instead complement each other’s gifting in your marriage.
But for all that to happen, there has to be one who takes precedence before your relationship, before your spouse, before your love for your children. Our Lord.