Sunday, July 27, 2014

MARRIAGE IS SANDPAPER


Today, Keith and I arrive at mile marker 18 on the marriage adventure.
Hand in hand, we cross the line, excited to see what the next mile will bring.

18 years ago today, ready or not, we were getting married.
So much work and preparation goes into planning a wedding.
Can you imagine what would happen if the only preparations we made for our big day would have been mailing invitations?

No cake.  No flowers.  No dress.
No minister.  No marriage license.

The result would have been no wedding.

Friends and family would have pulled up to the church and found Keith and I standing outside.  Doors locked.  Lights off.  In that moment, our actions, our lack of preparation, would have revealed our priorities.

The last couple of stops [here, here and here], we have been looking at the very beginning of our map.  Even though we have barely journeyed past the introduction, we need to take a quick detour. We are going to flip to the back of the map and look at the finish line.

"Let us rejoice and shout for joy!
Let us celebrate and give Him glory and honor,
for the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
and His bride has made herself ready."
{Revelations 19:7}

The marriage, the adventure, is preparation.
It prepares us for another wedding.
Another marriage… You and Jesus.

God designed marriage for His glory and our spiritual growth much more than fulfillment of our selfish desires.  But that only works when we are both chasing after Jesus with everything we have.  If our one-flesh relationship is running in opposite directions, it will tear us apart.

Marriage is sandpaper.
Two people, working together to help each other become more like Jesus.

Sandpaper is used to prepare a surface.  If used correctly, it makes a beautiful, smooth finish.  Here are two types of sandpaper...
-Coarse
  • the lower the number on the back, the more coarse the grit
  • removes unwanted material faster and with less effort
  • great for removing layers of old paint or preparing a surface for gluing by making it rougher.
-Fine
  • the bigger the number on the back, the finer the grit
  • used to make a surface smoother
  • removes the lines left by the more coarse paper and you are left with a smooth finish

Coarse sandpaper can be way too rough for some projects.  It can easily damage your project by gouging deep, non-repairable grooves.

Fine sandpaper can be way too smooth for some jobs.  If you insist on using a super-fine sandpaper on a job that requires coarse grit, you will end up sanding from now until infinity and get nothing accomplished.

Marriage is sandpaper.
My default grit is coarse.  Keith's default grit is super-fine.  
If I am always coarse, I hurt him.  If he always chooses super-fine, he doesn't help prepare me.

Marriage is sandpaper.
When we are working together as a team, our spouse can help us by roughing up a particular surface to create a more secure bond, removing unwanted material (pride, selfishness, entitlement, etc.), and even smoothing out the surface as needed.

Marriage is sandpaper.
If we are careless and choose the wrong grit, we will do more harm than good.
If a smooth sandpaper would have done the job but we choose coarse, we can cause damage to our spouse that will take time to fix.  If a coarse sandpaper will help get rid of some old stuff quick but we choose smooth, our spouse will have to deal with unwanted material a lot longer than God intended.

Marriage is sandpaper.
The words we speak. The actions we take. The grace we give.
Is it helping or hurting?  What type of sandpaper are you?

Spend time with Jesus everyday.
Do something everyday that helps prepare you and your spouse for the wedding day of the Lamb.

"Iron is made sharp with iron, and one man is made sharp by a friend."
{Proverbs 27:17}

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