Desiring to be sound in my doctrine, I have been contemplating this entry for sometime. I think I got this right. However, to anyone who finds these pages, I welcome any differing viewpoints and understanding of God's Word!
When the engineer and I said "til death separates us" twelve year ago, we meant it. We fully knew we had made a covenant with each other and God and have full intention of keeping it. "..And (he shall) hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh," Genesis 2:24. Two lives become one.
Yet sadly, there was a time we looked at each other and said, I don't want to stay married to you, but because of the promise we made before God; I have to. I remember being so confused during that time. How can I love God so much, yet not want to love my husband?
I once saw a small plaque hanging on a  wall that frequents my memory: "Love is a choice; I love my choice." Sometimes that choice is easier than others. It's harder when the engineer and I are separated by "stuff." Truly, it's easy for the "one flesh" to become two again, running parallel lives.
Webster defines parallel:
(of lines, planes, surfaces, or objects) side by side and having the same distance continuously between them.
"parallel lines never meet."
Even though the engineer and I are both headed in the same direction and have the same goal in mind (Philippians 2:2), the at times distance between us (our parallel lines) is great and we "never meet" as Webster pens it. What causes this distance? What's common may be poor or nonexistent communication (especially during times of busyness or stress), unconfessed resentments and sin. These hinder emotional intimacy. Just as the parallel lines can be near or far, so can husband and wife. At times, the engineer and I find ourselves so far apart, we can't emotionally reach one another. What is amazingly fabulous is when we realize that our parallel lines are needing step toward one another and become one; we take time to communicate, confess frustrations and sin, and intimacy can almost immediately be restored. When intimacy is restored, the joy and blessing of marriage is again experienced and morning breath doesn't smell so pungent anymore.
Our relationship with God can be viewed likewise in some aspects. When we believe in Jesus as God's Son paying the penalty for all our sins on the cross, we have an established relationship with God. Think two lines becoming one. This is similar to establishing a God fearing marriage. (The difference is marriage ends when this temporary life ends and a relationship with God is literally forever.) Although all my sins are forgiven, my sin still separates my from God. Choosing to confess my sins after I commit them is for my own benefit.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:1-5
Confession is for my benefit and blessing. Sin separates me from experiencing intimacy with God. It's like taking a step back from my oneness with God, and walking a parallel line with God. (Note that I move, God does not.) With unconfessed sin, I am separated from God AND experience guilt. When I choose to be transparent, confessing sin, I take a step back toward God to oneness (one line again). This immediately restores my intimacy with God because the sin barrier is removed between us. God established forgiveness when Jesus became my sin and was nailed to the cross. It is my choice to experience forgiveness by confessing my sins consistently.
Take time right now to contemplate what sin you need to confess to God and experience His forgiveness. If you are married, consider your position with your spouse: are you running parallel lives or living in oneness?
Whoever conceals transhgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Proverbs 28:13-14


Andrea said...

To add to this idea, I don't think the marriage relationship and our relationship with God is mutually exclusive either, but are tied more closely than just resembling each other. I think they depend on each other. One of J's memory verses recently is:
1 Peter 3:7 - Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

And I have been recently working on memorizing the Sermon on the Mount which includes:
Matthew 6:14-15 - For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I didn't put these two section of verses together in light of marriage until your post. Our communion with each other and our communion with God more than just resemble each other. They are DEPENDENT on each other. We are to be kind, compassionate, respectful and forgiving of others (our spouse especially) to have full communion and restoration with God.


Andrea said...

BTW, I miss you. I wish we could have an early morning cup of coffee together and hash this out over one of our dining room tables. :)

Becky DeWilde said...

Andrea, thanks for your sound thinking. I totally agree with you as well. I am grateful you could remind me of this. My relationship with Christ will affect all my relationships, but for a husband, it can affect his holiness. Gary Thomas writes of this in the Sacred Marriage. 1 Peter 3:7 says a man's attitude in marriage affects his prayers, therefore marriage relationship affects his relationship with God (and also his holiness.)
Further, I think God has much to teach us through all our earthly relationships. He uses them to sanctify us. I think this is what you eluded to, tying the Matthew 6:14-15 verse in. We become more like Christ when we are forgiving, being patient, being a peace maker, practicing unselfishness…
I think what I was most struck by recently was the restoration in my marriage that quickly led to restored intimacy contrasted with confession of my sin to God that immediately restores my intimate relationship with Him. Quickly vs. Immediate. God is so gracious and merciful!
Thanks again, you are so clever and smart. I quickly forget that being good friends with you makes me a better person because you make me use me think! Love you!