Marriage Anchor 2: Focus on the Provider and not on the provision.

Thu, Jul 8, 2010

Spiritual Growth

After years of mentoring couples, we find many are focusing on what God has provided them instead of focusing on the One who provides. We try to help them first look to God so they can properly see their mate.

Here is the dilemma.  You marry the love of your life. You step down off the marriage altar and begin to zero in on your mate. Naturally, over time, you begin to focus on his or her faults, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies.

Subtly, you will begin to reject your mate and require them to measure up to some set of standards. You subconsciously demand that they improve and meet your needs. Your mate feels he or she will never measure up to your performance-based requirements. You both will drift and isolate from each other. One or both of you will begin to look for someone else who will treasure you, respect you, or love you the way you feel you deserve.

When this happens, you are exactly where the Devil, the enemy of your soul and marriage, wants you. He moves in for the kill: Affairs, broken vows, divorce, and long term pain. If there are children, they will rarely fully recover.

To understand this Anchor better, take a look at the “first couple”, Adam and Eve in the Bible’s first book Genesis, Chapter 2.

“18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.

22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man."” (Bold added)

Instead of being absolutely thrilled with God’s handcrafted gift, Eve, can you imagine Adam looking at Eve for the first time and blurting out, “Hey God! Do you have anything back in the warehouse with blond hair, perhaps something with a better personality? And, that nose…that has to change!”

How do you think Eve, God’s fashioned gift, would have felt? Worse yet, how do you think God the Provider and Fashioner would have felt?

I think the reason Adam did not reject Eve was he fully depended on his Heavenly Father to know what was best for him, and rested in that trust. He focused on the Provider and not the provision. He kept his focus upward.

If you want God’s peace, and joy to be present in your home, you need to earnestly grab a hold of this anchor. Look at your mate and gladly welcome and receive him or her as God’s ordained, well fashioned gift for you. You even need his or her weaknesses! When both of you do this by faith, God delights in you. Each of you chooses full acceptance with no hint of rejection. To hint rejection or require performance improvement is to slap God in the face. Couples that do that always reap the consequences.

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