Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall colors and marriage...

     It’s that time of year again—the leaves are changing and fall is upon us.  Several years ago, late in the afternoon I was driving along a scenic route and the leaves were at their peak of color.  As I topped a hill, the sun broke over the horizon and shone through a tree with bright red leaves.  With the full light of the sun behind the tree, the leaves lit up with a fiery glowing that stunned me with its beauty and brilliance.  I wondered if even Moses’ burning bush could have commanded more attention than this tree.  Surely, I thought to myself, this must be the most perfect tree, every leaf shining in perfection; and I thanked God for letting me share in its magnificence.
     As I got closer to this beautiful red tree, the individual leaves began to take shape. Because of the way this tree looked from a distance, I fully expected every leaf to be perfectly shaped and perfectly colored.  However, as I continued to drive along, the sun, from my perspective, slowly moved out from behind the tree.  As I got closer to this once brilliant tree, its glory began to fade.  Slowly, the once seemingly perfect leaves came into full view.  They were dull, broken, torn, and full of bug-chewed holes.  I thought it now seemed unlikely that even one single leaf could be considered perfect.  From a different perspective, without the sun behind it, the tree was just a mass of ugly messed up leaves.
     In a lot of ways, that tree is an analogy for marriage.  We know that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.  We are all imperfect people who come from imperfect families.  Sometimes we say things we wished we hadn’t said, do things we wish we hadn’t done, and make choices that we wish we could take back.  No one knows better than each person how broken and imperfect he/she really is.
     But a marriage shines brightly when we let our love for our mates be a reflection of our love for God.  It shines when we live out forgiveness and grace and kindness.  It shines when we speak words of encouragement to our mates, and words of praise about our mates when we are in the company of friends and co-workers.  It shines when we keep our marriage relationships at the center of our families and have healthy boundaries that protect our marriages.  Our marriages shines when we take care of each other in sickness and in health.  It shines when we lay aside the distractions and devote time and attention to our mates.  It shines when we resist our selfish impulses and look out for the good of our marriage covenants.  Our marriages shine when we embrace being one flesh and helpmates for each other.  Our marriages are only made perfect when we reflect the presence of Christ in how we treat our spouses—when we let the Son shine through us as a couple.
     Whenever you see that perfect marriage that you wish you could have, just remember, a perfect marriage is not perfect because of the husband’s or the wife’s own goodness, but because that couple allows the perfect Son to shine through their lives making them into something they cannot possibly hope to be within themselves.  As husbands and wives, we need to stand where the light of the Son penetrates who we are, and where His light can lead us together toward glorious transformation into the likeness of Christ.

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Copyright: <a href=''>massonforstock / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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