Sunday, September 30, 2012

When Jesus is Not Enough (or rather, God's Wonderful Provision)

Tell people that God doesn’t want you to be religious, and they’ll applaud. Tell them that God’s solution to their loneliness and sex drives is NOT to make Jesus your boyfriend but to actually pursue marriage intentionally and well, what is your reaction?

Premise: Single guys are hurting their sisters in Christ and don’t even know it.

Question: Was Jesus meant to be enough?

Answer: No.

Let me explain before you stone me.

In the garden Adam experienced perfection. He was in perfect communion with nature and God. He lacked nothing.

WRONG. He did lack something.

Because in God’s assessmentGod, Elohim, the Creator of this perfect being in His own likenesslooked at this man, again, without flaw, without sin, and assessed, God assessed, that it was “not good that man should be alone.”

Was the solution a golden retriever? No. Adam quickly saw that “there was not found a helper comparable to him” among the wonderful animals that God had made.

Was the solution a deeper relationship with the God of the universe?

Ahem???!!! YOU WOULD THINK SO! Wouldn’t you?

But no! That was not God’s answer (because Adam already walked in perfect communion with God). Instead, God had arranged for His likeness to be spread across two halves to form the wholea male plus a female.

And so God brought the woman to Adam.

God designed the puzzle pieces and then fit them together. Not as similar pieces. But, in a predetermined hilarity, He designed them as ironically opposite yet intentionally congruent pieces.

Skip ahead to Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.”

Move to Malachi 2:11 where marriage is described as “The LORD’s holy institution which He loves.”

What about Psalm 128? Where the psalmist describes a happy home with a wife “like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house” and children “like olive plants All around your table” and then says, “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD.”

Single guys, brothers in Christ, I plead with you to believe these verses. I plead with you to believe what God’s word says about marriage enough that you will do something about it.

I tell you the truth, there are girls around you, quality girls, who are suffering loneliness and lack of companionship, who have been longing to be godly wives and mothers for years and are wanting to be your helpmate and are wanting to show God’s design off to a world that is caught up in fornication and divorce. But they are waiting for the quality guys in their lives to stop thinking it’s more spiritual to stay single (and hang with the guys and make youtube videos) than to do the hard thing of settling down, getting married, and submitting to the sanctification that will soon begin to take place on both sides once the honeymoon is over (please refer to my favorite book on the topic: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas).

We aren’t supposed to talk about it. Girls aren’t supposed to be “suffering” because we want a guy (a husband, actually). Why? Because Jesus is enough. And because it’s not cool to be “desperate.”

So we hunker down and pray harder and laugh at the guys having fun and every once in awhile we’ll find a fellow kindred spirit who is also suffering and then we’ll let down our guard long enough to confess our desire for God’s holy institution of marriage but we’ll keep a tough face and deride all those clueless guys because if we didn’t stay tough we’d cry.

Because God never intended for Jesus to be enough. Yes, a relationship with God is our foundation. Because even married people must lean heavily into Jesus through loneliness and conflict and all sorts of life trials. Without a close, ongoing relationship with Christ, we are lost, not only spiritually but emotionally too. I would be the first to admit that we need Jesus first and foremost. He is our all in all.
And as such, He has provided for our needs. For our natural desiresfor our physical and emotional needshe has provided a natural solution: marriage. An “earthy” solution for our earthy desires, as one speaker has said.

God never intended for marriage to stop providing for our earthy needs once the Old Testament ended and for Jesus to pick those needs up in the New. God’s design of marriage is not outdated.

I’m not saying that every 20+ year old needs to be pursuing a girl right now. Not even. But do we believe what God says? It’s a mindset.

Girls aren’t perfect. We’re known for our drama. We struggle with nagging. But for those single guys out there who think God’s design is more of a suggestion for when you’re 40, I hope that you’ll at least think about these Scriptures and consider your sisters in Christ.

(By the way, I do NOT presume to speak for God. If you disagree, I love true conversation. Shoot me an e-mail (if you have it).)

1 comment:

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

A thought-provoking post, Michelle! You make a good point about Adam - God saw that he lacked something yet the solution was not an even deeper relationship with God. I've never considered that before... now you've given me something to ponder :).