The following is a quote from Sam Storms’ book The Hope of Glory:
“What things below hinder our focus on the things above? What earthly entanglements exert a downward drag on your soul? What worldly attractions have become distractions and keep your mind off Christ? What fleshly affections compete for Him? The power to disengage from and triumph over all such rival pleasures will come only as we see and savor Him who is above.”
Marriage, from the moment we return from our honeymoon, is about learning to see and savor Christ in all aspects of our relationship. Left to ourselves this would never happen. Life has a way of encompassing everything in its path unless we purpose to fight the tide and swim upstream. It takes a concerted effort on both spouse’s part. It takes talking together about what you’re currently asking God to help you overcome personally. It takes admitting to your spouse when you aren’t getting what you had hoped to get. It takes talking on the deepest level where hearts connect and spirits collide. This is the one flesh nature of the marriage relationship.
Let’s take each of Mr. Storms’ questions and consider them in light of our marriage right now:
- What things below hinder our focus on the things above? Is it your job situation, your finances, dealing with parenting issues or caring for elderly relatives? Take time to talk about these things and how you can purpose to put your mind on things above.
- What earthly entanglements exert a downward drag on your soul? Does your job or ministry drag you down? Do you find yourself longing for a vacation away from it all? What do you think God is after in your heart in regard to this downward pull? These are good questions to ask the one person who knows you best–your spouse.
- What worldly attractions have become distractions and keep your mind off Christ? The best way to answer this question is to ask yourself where it is your mind goes when you want to forget all the trouble. Is it movies? Food? Video games? The computer? How about being connected all the time through your smart phone? Try taking a break from the one thing that draws you most and see how it effects your heart.
- What fleshly affections compete for Him? There should be nothing we enjoy more than spending time with Him. It’s easy to replace our affections for Him with things in the here and now. Things like our marriage, our children, sports, reading…anything we would rather do than spend time with Him is an area competing for our affections. The best antidote to this mindset is to talk about it with your spouse. Ask them to help you combat this temptation.
The best way to grow in our ability to see and savor Christ is to purpose to do it and to ask Him to help us change.
Much of our lives take place on auto-pilot. If we would but start each day asking God to help us make much of Him, we believe He would gladly answer such prayers. The problem is we usually give this no more than a passing thought.
May we encourage you to not let another day pass where you and your spouse aren’t purposing to make the most of each day the Lord has so graciously given you? We never know when the door of life as we know it today will close, bringing with it a brand new normal.
Let’s cherish the now we’ve been given, and do all we can to glorify Him in our personal lives and in our marriage.
Which of Mr. Storms’ questions hit home with you in a personal way? What can you do to change your normal?