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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Commitment Issues

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[April 06, 2011]   -- The organ anthem fades as the bride and groom draw together. The pastor announces that the groom will now declare the vows that he has written himself. He clears his throat and, looking deeply into his bride’s eyes, begins to speak. “I promise to love you with all my heart, sacrificing for you whenever you are in need, standing by you at all times, providing for your every need. I will never leave you.” The bride’s turn soon comes. “I will accept all that you have to give me. I anticipate that I will always have a house and car, plenty of clothes and 3 children, all healthy. When I want, I will clean and cook, but you will be expected to do this at all other times. And don’t forget to put the lid down.”

In scripture, God’s relationship with His people is compared repeatedly to marriage. Those who have experienced marriage can relate to the feelings of initial euphoria, followed by the realization that making the relationship successful requires a lot of grace and hard work. Mark Weber, the minister at my church in Mt. Pulaski, brought up an interesting point Sunday. The words we hear in a marriage ceremony are usually words of acceptance, commitment, and perseverance. “For better, for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health…” It’s all covered. Can you imagine listening to the wedding vows outlined above? This is a woman who should remain single. She is not interested in a relationship. She needs a full-time staff.

Here’s the obvious connection: do we ever stop and wonder if God is on the short end of our relationship with Him? How often do we buck God’s divine wisdom when things do not go our way? When times are rough, do we still praise him? When Job was overwhelmed with bad news, his response was: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…blessed be the name of the Lord.” That kind of faith takes relationship.

Just as commitment in marriage is a daily decision, submission to God is a never-ending task. Taking time in our discussions with God to ask, “What is it You want me to pray about? What matters to You? How can I help?” could go a long way to revealing to us the mind of God. His desire to communicate with us is as sincere as our need to be known by our family and friends. Take time today to be the bride of Christ, as interested in Him as He is in you. And may you live happily ever after

[Jo Hilliard, LDN Spiritual Life Editor]


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