Thursday, July 10, 2014

Husbands and Wives and Expectations/Idols and Restoration

Husbands and Wives
I have written 'blogged' often about relationships between husbands and wives. Encouraging you to find guidance in scripture and that God's social imagination for our marriage is the best. The hierarchy that God designed is the best practice for our marriage - God, man/husband/wife. However, even in having that knowledge, we find ourselves from time to time caught up in this fallen world challenging that hierarchy and creating and putting up with expectations so high we need a extension ladder to reach them.
Now, I like expectations, reasonable ones because they work well for society and husbands and wives and family. But unreasonable ones don't. Why? Because unreasonable expectations are not from God. God does not give us or want for us unreasonable expectations. He wants us to be happy. So, who puts these unreachable expectations out there... we do when we don't listen for God's word. His word for our lives tells us what to expect and why and let us know that there is a right time for everything in our life. Sometimes, husbands and wives especially set the bar too high and in fact it becomes a form of idolatry.
Today on Midday Connections (Moody Radio with Anita Lustrea) guest speaker Dee Brestin told us about idols. She told us that deep down, every woman longs to feel loved and secure. We may think we look to God for these things, but in reality we often run to food, Facebook or friendships. Dee wants to help us identify the idolatry that is destroying our intimacy with God and stealing our joy. Dee related the story of Rebecca who was overeating and getting depressed because of what Dee calls a 'heart idol'. What was her heart idol? Firstly, there are three main heart idols are: Comfort/Security; Affirmation/Approval; and Control
Power. Think of the sins you tend to repeat. What do you think is at the root?
Idols lie to us. For example, Rebecca thought that eating at night would solve her problem was stress: three boys two on the autistic spectrum and a husband working 80 hrs a week. She had a need and yet she did not turn to God (her Father in heaven) but to pie and television thus expecting such things would allow her to deal with her stress. Which became the thing (s) that she had to have -  idols. How have your idols lied to you – telling you they would help you when in fact they turned on you?
Idols cannot be removed but only replaced. When Rebecca faced up to her comfort idol, she felt afraid, for she thought, “If I don’t run to my political shows and my pie each night, will God just let me sit in my pain?”  God wants us to reach out to Him, and he wants to be sure that it is Him we want and not pie or facebook or TV or clothes, or food etc. Once she reached out to her Father in heaven, and understood his social hierarchy (man under God, and women under man-husbands) she found rest and comfort. The stress went away knowing that her husband was part of that order, in fact, her husband was first in that order so that he got directly from the Lord what he needed so that he could give to his wife and she could rest assured. That was Rebecca's restoration. We can now suppose that her husband Sam faced a similar situation- too much stress and not enough time out with God in his life... after all, God's hierarchy calls for it. Sam was working all the time because he thought Rebecca's expectations of him were too high and he could not live up to them. He saw his wife suffering and did not know how to reach out to her and he also felt alone and unloved.
Both needed each other and moreover, they needed God. Not together, but individually. That is the beauty of a Christian God's love- individual communion/relationship/intimacy with the Creator.
God's love is so great for us! Amen. He adores us and wants to be adored back. Thus, we are able to adore others. Which is not 'idolizing' as we think of - putting someone else before God...that is not good. Idolizing our spouse or anything is not good if it takes the place of God. However, I when I think of idolizing my spouse, I think of adoring love because that is what we get from God. When we accept the love the Lord has and offers us and when we feel that adoring love from the Lord, we want to and should give that kind of adoring love to our spouses. Husbands should be their wife's 'idol' adored and visa versa. We need our husbands to be a sign of God's order for us and by his adoring love we are assured of God's 'adoring love' ... this follows God's hierarchy. Then it is possible for us to give our husbands what they need, and we can be assured in that this comes from God, it is thanking Him  for His order. It is His Love for us that lets us adore others and feel assured of that and be at rest in it. The healthy way, the Christian way is to put God first. He is our first adored love our 'idol', the one we worship and glorify and because of His wonderful works and unconditional love for us. He continually wants to love and bless us. Having that knowledge, that love is an assurance that allows us to give to others, we understand that relationship with Him 'adoring him' and understand our relationship with our spouse and are able to adore our spouse as we feel and know we are adored.

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