The silence was thick Sunday morning as Zack pulled his 2018 BMW into a parking space at church. There was nothing to say to Ally, despite having just returned from a luxury Mediterranean cruise. The kids escaped to the safety of their friends’ company.
Zack dutifully stepped out and retrieved their Bibles from the floor of the back seat. “Better take out the old bulletin so nobody knows I haven’t touched my Bible since the last time we were here,” thought Zack. Neither had Ally, even though she acted like some deep biblical scholar. Ha! If they only knew the real Ally… “selfie Ally.” Always looking good.
Zack walked to the sidewalk in front of the car to wait for Ally to make her appearance in her new Italian shoes and matching purse. He didn’t want to know how much those had set him back. She didn’t have to pay those bills when they came in. He had only agreed to the cruise in hopes she would warm up in the bedroom, but no… every time he thought she was in the mood, he said something or did something that set her off and shut her down.
Bill and Cathy pulled in.
Time to smile.
Ally spotted them and hurried out to be seen in her new apparel. The three converged on Zack.
“Oh, my goodness, you guys are back from that dream cruise,” Cathy gushed as Ally’s face lit up. Cathy slid her arm around Bill’s waist.
When was the last time Ally had reached for Zack? Oh yeah… when they posed for selfies.
Cathy said, “Your Facebook photos were amazing. You guys looked so happy. I want your life.”
If you only knew.
Zack wanted their life. They had it all. No, they didn’t take world-class trips, but what they had… What was it? They weren’t connected at the hip, but rather independent in both activities and opinion. They rarely argued. They went on missions trips. They reached for each other when they prayed.
The only person who had reached for him was his secretary. Electricity had flashed through him at her touch—and scared him. How long had it been since he had been with his wife? How long could he hold out? If only Ally would reach out for him.
Bill said, “How ‘bout we head in?” Bill took Cathy by the hand and they led them. Zack could feel the power of their relationship. How did that happen?
Power is the ability to do something or the force to direct or influence.
In the beginning, God spoke, and through His power paradise was created.
God spoke life into existence.
God blessed mankind and gave them power over His creation.
God instructed mankind in the power of relationship.
* He warned man not to be alone.
* He highlighted the importance of leaving parents and uniting with your spouse to become “us.”
* He gave power to “us”—a relationship that models the church’s relationship with Jesus, the Bridegroom. Our Bridegroom gave power to His bride when he broke our bondage to sin and gave us life. Through His power, we have power to give life or give death.
* Through “us”, we have the superpower to give life or give death — not just to our spouses, but to our children, grandchildren, friends and contacts.
How are you using your Superpowers?
Are you giving life or death to your spouse? When you married, you likely vowed to love, honor and cherish them — life-giving activities. Do others see God in your US? Is the “US” in your marriage reflecting the “us” of the Trinity?
How are you doing with that?
“But you don’t know how awful my spouse is.”
My spouse doesn’t deserve it. They always _____ or never _____.
Our Bridegroom gave us life even when we didn’t deserve it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (NASB). Further Jesus shows us what He used His superpowers for: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
He gave us life despite our ugly self-absorbed selves.
What about you?
Zack and Ally are like thousands of couples who think marital bliss is wrapped up in getting the right stuff and achieving a certain lifestyle.
Our parents instructed us how to succeed in this world. We expect our marriage will just fall into place if all else is well.
What we miss is the power of intimacy that God created. God created us with physical, relational and spiritual needs. You can have all your physical needs met, but if you are lacking intimacy with God and your spouse, none of the rest matters. You will pursue pleasure at the expense of pain.
Zack is one thought from pursing the pleasure that will lead to the destruction of his home — dividing all the stuff that seemed so important, and the new split-home children’s timesharing. The power of death.
Every marriage relationship has the power of US. In a marriage there’s you, me, and US. Us is the third entity of the relationship; it’s either positive or negative power. You and me is sometimes a selfie; self-serving, self-centered and selfish. US is selfless. When US is present you can feel it and so can other people. Zack could feel the US of Cathy and Bill. They reflected the image of God in how they responded to each other. Zack was hungry for what Bill and Cathy had. US is attractive to others.
In Genesis 1:26 God says “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…”
Do others see God in your US? Is the “US” in your marriage reflecting the “us” of the Trinity?
Have questions or a topic you would like to see addressed? Contact Lisa at [email protected].
Lisa May is the Executive Director of South Florida for Live the Life South. Live the Life exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education beginning in middle school through senior adults. For information visit LivetheLife.org
Patricia Hartman, writer, has worked with hundreds of divorcing clients as owner of her forensic CPA practice. She is the owner of Patricia Hartman, CPA, PA, a tax and forensic accounting practice. She is the author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement: The Power of Marriage Unleashed.”