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Tuesday, September 21, 2010
In a recent article for the Marriage Channel entitled “Expectation vs. Reality: Straight Talk on Marital Redemption,” author Paul David Tripp was interviewed by Shawn McEvoy about his book “What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.” It's a great article with lots of insights about how the expectations we bring into marriage crash into the realities of marriage life. Go read it, it's really good. 

But this is the part that really caught my attention:
The DNA of sin is selfishness. That means that sin in its fundamental form is antisocial because I care more about me than I do anyone else. I shrink my world down to my wants, my needs, and my feelings. That means that I will reduce the people in my life to vehicles or objects. If you help me get what I want, I love you cards and flowers. If you stand in the way of what I want, I am spontaneously irritated and angry.
Then I came across this post by Corey at Simple Marriage. He asks whether things that lead to success in the business enterprise arena, such as good communication skills, leadership, passion, perseverance, focus, patience, self-confidence are enough to also lead to a happy and fulfilled marriage. Why do we see so many "successful" people's marriage fall apart?  He asserts, and I think he is absolutely spot on, that these things, while helpful, are not enough, for one very important reason.
While career success can often be achieved through a self-serving approach, a healthy marriage will only be possible when both spouses are able to serve each other. Regular self-sacrifice is a key ingredient to a thriving marriage and family life. In fact, it may be one of the most important traits of a successful spouse.
Congratulations if you are still reading. I know starting a post talking about sin and selfishness is not exactly the way to draw readers in, but the thing is, God is speaking to me so loudly about this today that I am compelled to pass the message on.

The thing is, when I try to get God’s heart over this topic, I don’t detect an angry, frustrated God shaking a finger at me. No, I hear a tender hearted Father, longing to lead me into fulfillment and joy. Here is what I hear him saying:
Dear child, my heart for you is that you would find your way to a wondrous and deeply fulfilling marriage. That's how I made it and meant it to be. The path to the deepest and most intimate relationship is the path my Son, Jesus, took. When I sent him to you as your Bridegroom, he came bearing my love. And he gave this love extravagantly and selflessly, he gave himself completely, not in order to get something from you, but simply because he wanted intimacy with you.  Forever. The way of deepest intimacy is the way of selfless and extravagant love.

Beloved, I have shown you the way. Follow my lead.


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