Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Morning Separation Anxiety

I hate Mondays.  I do not hate them for the obvious reason, though.  Sure it is the first day of a work week and the freedom and late sleeping of the weekend is a memory, but I am also thankful to have a job.  This is especially true in these hard economic times.  The reason I hate them is that I just got to spend two complete days side-by-side with my wife and now we only get to spend our tired evenings together.  I love being with my wife and never want to become one of those couples who need a break from each other or think it is ok to regularly spend days and days apart.  I want to enjoy and cherish each day the Lord gives us together.  She is a gift and one I never want to tire of.  Our marriage is a gift and one that I never want to take for granted.  I do believe that this is the Biblical model for a marriage, and this is why. 
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31 NKJV
The point that this makes is that your spouse is literally your other half.  I know we say that phrase as slang, but it is actually truth.  Your spouse is your other half.  The two of you are not one flesh and so being apart should be painful.  If you are just fine with being apart then you are not rightly recognizing your spouse as the other part of you.  God did not create marriage just for husband and wife to be apart from each other, but to bring two people and make them one flesh.  Would you be ok with giving up one arm, leg, eye, ear, and half your torso for days at a time on a regular basis? It would be rather uncomfortable and rather impossible to function at your best capacity.  The same should be said for marriage.  You should be at your best when you are with your spouse and there should be something missing or lacking when you are not.  Your spouse should never be an impediment to your life, but being without your spouse should be. 

Another point that this brings up is that your spouse should complete you.  Of course this is only true if you are a couple in Christ, but that is really who I am writing to.  God brought the two of you together and made you one flesh.  He would not have done so if He did not create the two of you to complete one another.  I know my wife and I share many complimentary traits, strengths, and weaknesses and when we are following after God those parts work together beautifully.  Your spouse should never be seen as someone who does not allow you to be who you are, but rather your spouse should be someone who completes who you are.  You should not always see your differences as things that need to be ironed out, but rather embraced in that you complement what each other is lacking.  There are some specific Biblical roles for each, such as the husband being the Spiritual leader of the home, but there are many other areas where each of you may be lacking where the other is strong.  The husband is for the wife what she can not be and the wife should be for the husband what he can not be. 

Of course saying that your wife completes you implies that being separated means that you are incomplete. Much like having part of your flesh missing as I discussed earlier, being apart means that part of what makes you who you are is also missing when you are apart.  There should be some sense of loss or incompleteness when you are apart.  When you are apart, you should not more free to be who you really are, but rather you should find it impossible.  You are who you are when you are complete and with your spouse, you can not be who you are when a part of you is missing.  Please do not ever think that being apart means you can misbehave as some are prone to do.  That should never come into the equation.  You are not single any more and that single person you once were is no more.  Being apart should never be a means to revert to who you once were, that will only work to strain your relationship when you are together.  You should feel incomplete.  You should feel as though something is missing because a part of your is missing. 

The reason why this message is so important goes well beyond a healthy Scriptural marriage.  It goes to the very heart of our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Let's look at the next verse in Ephesians from what we covered earlier.
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Ephesians 5:32 NKJV
The great mystery of how two become one flesh in marriage is a picture of the oneness between Christ and the church.  Just as the woman and man are parts of one another in marriage, so is the church and Christ parts of one another in our Heavenly marriage.  We are the body of Christ.  Christ is the head of the church.  We are in Christ as part of the church and the Holy Spirit lives in us.  Just as a husband and wife are incomplete when apart, so would we be incomplete without the Holy Spirit.  We lived our whole lives with an empty hole in our cold stone hearts until we met Jesus.  When we accepted Him into our lives as Lord and Savior, He made us a new heart and made it a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.  Just as it is unthinkable to think to live again without the Holy Spirit so should it be for us to live without our spouses.  Just as spouses miss a part of themselves when they are apart, so would we be missing a part of ourselves if we were not in Christ.  Specifically, we would be a headless body trying to find its way around.  Just as ridiculous as that image is, so should the spouse who thinks they would be just fine to not be with the other.  Coming to Christ makes you inseparable from Him and those times when we ignore or try to flee from His presence always leads to trouble. 

And so that desire of togetherness with our spouse is another aspect of marriage that is a parallel to our relationship with the Lord.  Just as with marriage, if you do not have to desire to be together with our Lord, then there is reflected a problem with that relationship.  Coming to Jesus means eternity in His presence.  It means eternal and constant fellowship with Him.  That is why that need to be together is so important in marriage.  Can you imagine spending days or weeks away from Jesus?  Can you imagine declaring that to be right in your life?  I could not imagine one day without my Lord!  As a parallel to our relationship with Jesus, what you say about marriage reflects how you feel about your relationship with the Lord.  They are inseparable as just as God brought you together with Jesus, God also brought you together with your spouse and declared the two to be parallels with one another.  Cherish the time with your spouse and never take for granted his or her presence in your life every day.  Cherish it only less than the time you spend with Jesus.  It is not natural to need time apart with the one whom God has made you one flesh with just as it is unnatural to need time apart from the Lord.  Jesus says that He is with us always, even to the end of the age, that needs to be a good thing. 
And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made [them] at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Matthew 19:4-6 NKJV

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