Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Spiritual Encouragement

Romans 8:28 : And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJ)

I feel blessed to be able to share this spiritual encouragement with you today. This is my second week of my journey. A journey to help myself through helping others create and/or maintain "A Loving Lasting Marriage".  I hope that this blog can continue to be a blessing to you. This week, our spiritual encouragement was written by a guest blogger.

Here is some information about him:
Kevin B. Bullard, the husband half of Marriage Works!, is passionately taking a stand for healthy and functional marriages. He and his wife, Cetelia are seasoned marriage educators in North Carolina, and are parents of three young children. Join their Facebook communityfollow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their blog


Where am I that I don't see him working anymore? / Can a man go so far that he
doesn't feel the presence of his closest friend?  / What about God?[1]

What About God?
            I do quite a bit of marriage coaching and pre-marriage education. While I enjoy doing both and always come away pumped up and challenged, neither one of them affects me quite like performing a wedding ceremony. I consider being able to officiate a ceremony an honor, and take it very seriously.
            Recently while going over the ceremony outline I give to engaged couples, I was once again struck with how important it is that a couple build their marriage with God as the foundation. While there are plenty of marriages existing without God as the foundation, there’s that doesn’t mean everything is kosher. God is the creator of marriage, and without him, marriage doesn’t have it’s full vigor. While the husband and wife may love, honor, and serve one another, there’s still something missing: the love of God, which is unconditional, never fades, suffers long, keeps giving, and looks for the good. Without the God, a marriage has form, but no power. That’s only brought by his presence.[2]
A Mac, Parallels, and Windows
            I’m an IT consultant by day, and a recent illustration from work aptly describes a marriage without God.
            A student came into the area where I work reporting a problem with software on his computer. He had a Mac, but needed to run software on his machine that was only made for PCs. His teacher rightly advised him to buy software called Parallels that would allow him to run the Windows operating system on his Mac. Following her counsel, the student bought, installed, and fired up Parallels. Next, he put in the disk he needed for class. That’s when he ran into trouble. The student was having difficulty getting his machine to recognize the software on the disk. Initially I thought that he had simply installed Parallels incorrectly, and just needed to reinstall it to get it functioning correctly. However, after starting up Parallels, I noticed a message that said something like this: This software cannot detect an operating system. Of course, problem solved! He had bought and installed Parallels - the software to run Windows -  but had never bought and installed Windows itself. Big problem. Parallels is made to run Windows, so without Windows, Parallels is useless. No matter what he did, the Parallels software was not going to function as it was made to function without him installing the Windows operating system.
            As I reflected on the student’s computer issue, it dawned on me that many couples do exactly what he did: they only do a part of what’s necessary to make things work right. While finding a mate and having a ceremony of some sort is necessary, it’s just the beginning.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a great ceremony, couples must realize that it lacks the power to keep a marriage together for the long haul. A marriage needs an operating system to run. It needs power. It needs agape love. In short, it needs God.

What About God?
                                                So, what about God in your marriage? What role does he play? Is he a first responder or is he a last resort? Is he an essential component or is he just a spare cog? Is God the foundation of your marriage or is he just an add-on whenever you feel like something’s missing? Is God to your marriage what an operating system is to a computer or is he more like an extraneous software disk that ships with your computer that’s never been removed  from the box?
                                                I encourage you to discover or re-discover the amazing importance God plays in a marriage. As I said at the outset, while you can get married without his presence and keep a union together, it will lack the power and grace all marriages require to last and be a great blessing to others. It will be missing God’s blessing, wisdom, knowledge, and help. In short, it will be missing the operating system it needs to function. Don’t make the mistake of leaving God out of your marriage. Be alert and discerning to ensure God has a place in your marriage, and is leading it as it grows. Seek God individually and as a couple. Invite him into your midst, and aim to please him with your words and deeds. Only then will your marriage have the proper foundation it needs exist and be full of power.

[1], What About God, (September 8, 2011)
[2], 2 Timothy 3:5, (September 6, 2011)


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