“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:9
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my marriage and what sets it apart from the farce marriages I see on a daily basis. So far I’ve narrowed it down to 5 things:
1.) God- Present and active in our marriage, and our faith
2.) Respect- For each other above ourselves, and for God’s intent for marriage
3.) Trust- For each other, regardless of distance and for God to lead us in faithfulness
4.) Love- Passion for one another that reaches deeper than physical attraction; wanting what is best for one another without regard to our feelings first
5.) Patience- contentment in waiting; compassion and understanding, knowing each of us is human and falls short of the glory of God.
These are the big 5. And they haven’t all come at once. Mitch and I have had to work at these over the past five years we’ve been together, especially so in the past two years we’ve been married. These were all on my mind as I listened to the sermon from Pastor Chris on Sunday. He spoke about steel tubes that are made by using centrifugal force to spin molten metal, creating a perfectly seamless tube. He said that the secret to the perfect tube is the “molten moment” If the metal is too cool, it will not separate in the center. But if it is too hot, it will go everywhere. Pastor Chris then went on to talk about “molten moments” in the lives of three biblical figures, two of which being Peter and Judas. Judas’ problem was that he wanted a messiah that he could control; that was about the worldly things he was. Judas’ molten moment came when Mary anointed Jesus with the alabaster jar. Judas failed in that he sold Jesus out instead of accepting his mission, to save sinners. “Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” [Luke 5:31] Judas didn’t get this key point. Peter’s molten moment came when he denied Christ. His problem was that he let his pride in being a servant of the Lord blind him to potential obstacles. He feared for his life from the Romans and in so doing, he lost sight of who he was in Christ. He failed to acknowledge the “little stumbles” (being asked by a random servant if he knew Christ) and ended up tripping and falling over them. [Luke 22:54-62]
I was really able to identify with each of the molten moments of those two men. So many times, I try to make Jesus fit the mold I have in mind for him; I want him to grant me the life I think would be best instead of letting God be God, and handle things according to his will. What I realized in looking at Peter’s story in regards to my marriage is that when I’m faced with the question of fidelity, I always without hesitation say, “Never. I will ALWAYS be faithful, no matter what.” That’s great. The problem is that I can’t let my pride overshadow the potential for little temptations. I have to remain humble and acknowledge that I am vulnerable to temptation and failure just like everyone else. I must constantly seek God in prayer and ask for a discerning heart, and wisdom to distinguish right from wrong. In that way, I will be able to steer clear of anything that could be construed as questionable and remain above reproach.
It’s funny, but so many times when my husband asks what my plans are for the week, I say, “I don’t know,” or “Nothing, really,” or “Sitting on the couch, lounging with the doggies,” and sometimes I think he doesn’t understand why I don’t want to go out more often with friends. But the truth is, by limiting my outings to church functions and shopping or lunch dates with close, mutual friends, I eliminate anything questionable and I think both me and my husband are better for it; he doesn’t have to worry, and I remain steadfast and upright.