Thursday, February 16, 2017

Marriage is 50/50 -- That's Garbage! Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry -- That's Garbage!

For the last three Sundays, the scripture readings in the Catholic Church, have been from Matthew 5 which includes Christ's Sermon on the Mount. The 1st Sunday -- the Beatitudes; the 2nd Sunday -- being salt and light and last Sunday's was "stepping up our game". Well, not exactly in those words, but Pastor Samuel Hose at Emmaus Parish (aka Church of the Resurrection) here in Austin, shared words that inspired me for today's post. Last Sunday pastors and ministers everywhere probably focused, or at least mentioned in their messages, about love because Valentine's Day was coming up.

Father Samuel said. "It's time to step up our game. From Matthew 5's readings we heard Jesus talk about stepping up our game. For example: In the Old Testatment it said, 'You shall not kill or you'll be liable for judgment", but Jesus stepped up the game by saying 'Don't even be angry with your brother or you'll be liable for judgment.' He also said 'You have heard that it was said (in the Old Testament), 'You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, he who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'" Now that's sincerely "stepping up the game"! It put a whole new light on "just getting by with just enough Christianity to make it through the Pearly Gates". God created a whole new standard for us. Ephesians 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us..."

Father Samuel shared that he had performed a wedding ceremony the day before. He said, "I told the couple that people might have told you 'Marriage is 50/50'. That's garbage! Others might have told you that marriage means never having to say your sorry'. That's garbage! I tell you where you step up your game in your marriage is to recall this day when you said and made your vows before our Holy God and to each other. Your marriage will always be blessed as you recall these promises you made to each other before God. Live your life everyday before God. That will guarantee your marriage succeeds."

And, during this month of love, I add my two cents worth to what Father Samuel said. Those vows before God are the CENTER for which our marriages and our lives are built upon. When we fail to keep God at the center and we forget those promises we made to our CENTER, is when our marriage and even other relationships can become stale, lacking vitality, respect, honor and commitment to each other.

The newlyweds, my grandson, Braden, and granddaughter, Ruth, are so adorable and so in love after 4-1/2 months of marriage. But what will it be for them in 4 years, 14 years or 40 years, if they forget those beautiful vows of faithfulness, understanding, commitment, and servitude to each other -- if they forget their CENTER? I didn't see Ruth's wedding rings at the wedding, but I saw them this week. There are three. She says they represent "Braden, herself and God". Then she went on to give the scripture basis for the three bands which is a promise between God, you, and your husband. "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12. I loved that. God is their CENTER. God is LOVE, so then, their love for each other will continually be stepped up as long as they keep Him there in the CENTER.

Is God at the CENTER of your marriage and life? If not....He can be and will be when you welcome Him into that beautiful place of FIRST PLACE! The closer we move to God....the closer we will become to our spouses and those in our lives that we love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7