There is something about stealing away for the whole day and night that fuels a marriage with life.
When you are serving God by ways of writing and speaking, much time is spent with Him. It requires deliberate choice to pour into those immediately around you.
As this summer drew to a close, Jason and I realized we spent lots of family time with our boys and very little couple time.
All family time is good. All time spend serving the Lord is good.
However, when marriage takes a backseat, it is offensive to God.
When God deems a covenant with His people, it is not to be taken lightly:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6).
In His mighty power, He deemed marriage a supernatural blend of a man and a woman.
And I can just imagine Jesus adding here, “And woe to anyone who gets in the way of this holy unity”.
You step on marriage, you step on His church (Ephesians 5:25).
So off Jason and I went to Gettysburg for the day.
Spontaneity with a distinct aura of setting our own pace lifted our hearts in joy.
We began at Devil’s Den, a daunting name for the area of one of the most bloodiest battles in Gettysburg where the Confederates advanced against the Union armies.
As I explored in between the rocks, I could imagine the fear of those on the brink of death, theirs or another’s.
Not exactly uplifting but important when considering the sacrifices made by military past and present and by my husband in the day-today of police work.
We hiked over rocks and walked some paved roads.
From the tops of hills, we could see history. The National Park has done an amazing job of preserving the battle fields.
States who offered troops during the Civil War have erected beautiful symbols to honor their warriors:
Around traditional lunch time, I was not hungry.
As time wore on into the 1:00’s, my stomach vied for attention. We finished visiting the area memorials.
As Jason drove toward the town of Gettysburg, I simply assumed we would pick a cute little place with local historical flare.
Meanwhile Jason’s mind was on a diner somewhere closer to where we were staying the night.
What would Jesus say about food and its dividing force in a blissful couple afternoon?
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (Matthew 6:25).
Honestly, the whole lunch experience was a stumble for me. I chose to order eggplant parmesan at the diner where I didn’t want to be.
Note to self: only order eggplant parmesan where Italian food is the specialty.
My eyes were verifiably off Jesus as we rolled out of the parking lot, and my stomach -once hungry now miserable- panged at me.
Moments of uncomfortable silence and presumably unholy selfish thoughts filled the car.
When we arrived at the bed and breakfast, our hostess led us to our room:
Coincidence? Never in God’s Kingdom.
My heart hardened by lowly food softened with His care and concern for our time together.
Though God knows the two humans who make up marriage are not perfect, I am sure it pains Him when we echo those early selfish motives with the forbidden fruit.
Yes, right from the beginning, food exuded temptation.
Hmmmm. Chew on that, like my Twitter friends say.
I will close here with lesson one from our trip. Come back tomorrow for part 2.
Thank you to all new followers and those who have stayed the journey with me. I have not forgotten about the On Becoming series. I am taking extra time to prepare the next installment, On Becoming a Disciple.
Until then, you will hear more of how Jesus lovingly taught me to be less selfish in marriage.
The only way to grow in Him is to be honest with Him. He forgives, guides and blesses when we lay it down for real.
Thought or questions? Start a conversation in the comments. Or you may email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Have a blessed Friday.