Jesus is a personal God. If we are true believers and followers of Christ then we know Jesus is a personal God that lives within us...He is not a religion but a relationship. We know this but we often forget that this personal God that intimately knows us and draws us to Him so we can know Him and become more like Him...created us to influence others as He influences us...through relationships.
Jesus said in His word, love the Lord your God with all your heart and love others as you love yourself and in this all the law is fulfilled. Religion is fulfilling the law without a relationship. Salvation is a restored relationship with a living God that then motivates us to fulfill all the law as an act of love for a God we are in relationship with. We know this...but we often don’t make the connection of knowing a personal God...to making ourselves known to others.
A home that is built on should...you should do this and you should do that...a marriage filled with endless duties, rigid roles and marital expectations without a vibrant, well maintained and carefully tended relationship...could be a number of things but its not a marriage. Fulfilling the law without a personal relationship is dead religion.
As women we were created to complete our husband and to bear children. God created us to be nurturers and by creative design we are more relational and more intuitive. In our marriages and in our homes we are the relational thermostat. That doesn’t mean our husband doesn’t bear the weight of responsibility for the marriage or for keeping it in intact...it just means we are more aware or should be more aware of the need for maintaining a healthy life giving relationship with our husband and with our children.
I understand this but I have not always known it. I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for over 28 years and I have known my husband for almost as long but though Jesus has known me...I can’t say I have always been known by my husband. In our early years when life was more about should and should not... I often was not known...and I often did not know...my husband. We played a deadly form of hide and seek where its now you see me and now you don’t.
It’s amazing how we can live in the same home, show up at the right times, do the right things and day by day and moment by moment retreat into our own little worlds where we live a life unconnected, unfulfilled and utterly empty and unknown. It takes courage and faith not in our husband but in the God of our husband...to not hide behind anger or retreat behind a silent wall of hurt when we feel violated or unappreciated or blind-sided by harsh words too quickly spoken.
Years ago when John and I came back into the McMinnville congregation after pioneering in Keizer I wrote a poem. Pioneering a baby work is a tremendous opportunity to not only win souls but is a great wake up call for the pioneering couple left with no one but each other and God. You quickly learn how desperately you need God to not only build a church in your city...but a marriage in your home.
No Windows to My Soul
Cloaked in bitterness, surrounded by four walls
Locked within...loneliness, no windows to my soul
Walls washed with laughter, colored with dreams
muddied hues of hopelessness, ever changing schemes
Every wall papered with tears never shown
Matching pasted borders, love never known
Darkened corners filled, words, faces, names
cold heartless rooms, emptied of all pain
All must stay outside the walls, none may enter in
I’m left standing cold and still, walls can not be friends.
To have a marriage is to risk being vulnerable...to be known by our husbands...and to know our husbands...as our God has known us.