Friday, April 11, 2014

An Uncommon Marriage

     On the March 29, 2014 episode of Saturday Night Live, the guest host, Louis C. K., spent part of his monologue disparaging God.  Whether or not he was trying to raise valid discussions about how we view God (and I tend to think he was not), he used God as the punchline of a string of jokes.  For me personally, it was offensive because I believe that God is holy.  That means that God, and godly things, are not like everything else.  Ezekiel 22:26 says, “[The Lord’s] priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common.”  In Exodus 20:7, God says he will not hold someone guiltless who misuses his name.  Why?  Because holy things are meant to communicate something powerful about God to the world.
     Christian marriage is holy.  Whether or not it was said in your wedding vows, you were joined in holy matrimony.  God is (or at least should be) a present and active part of your relationship, so everything about marriage—love, forgiveness, selflessness, sex and intimacy, commitment, encouragement, laughter and joy—all of it is holy.  And we are the Lord’s priests (1 Peter 2:9), sharing his holiness through our marriages.
     But sometimes, as the Lord’s priests, we say and do things that profane marriage.  We take what is holy, and make it common.  When a husband continually refers to his wife as “the old ball and chain,” he is profaning marriage.  When a wife emasculates her husband in front of others, she is making a holy relationship common.  When a couple lets others—children, family, friends—become the central relationship rather than the marriage, they damage the holiness of their union.  When spouses stop praying together and being a blessing to each other, a holy relationship is diminished.  If we don’t see marriage as holy, then eventually a couple’s Christianity can just become “window dressing,” with no real distinction between them and any other couple.
     I know that there is always some kidding and teasing in marriage, and that’s okay.  There should be.  Who wants to live in a joyless relationship?  But we have to be careful not to cross the line.  What’s the line?  I don’t know.  It will be different for different people.  But ask yourself this; when people hear you talk about marriage, do your words make them want to seek a similar marriage, or run as far away from marriage as possible?  When you share stories, are others laughing at your marriage, or sharing in the joy of your marriage?
     I don’t want a common marriage.  I want a holy marriage.  Holy things are meant to communicate something powerful about God to the world.  What does your marriage say?

Image credit: <a href=''>tomwang / 123RF Stock Photo</a> 

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