It took me four years into my marriage to learn to place God, rather than a man who loved me, on a pedestal.
I woke up and sat on the side of the bed after a peaceful night’s sleep having no idea that Greg had tossed and turned next to me all night long. With a somber look on his face, Greg quietly whispered that he had something to confess to me. A lump immediately formed in my throat. Rather than walking away to avoid this uncomfortable moment, I allowed Greg to share his stricken heart, willing myself not to cry. He finished what he had to say and got up to take a shower, knowing that I needed a moment alone to process his words. The only thing I could actually process was an image of a tower crashing down with white, ivory-encrusted bricks shattering everywhere.
Since the moment we met, Greg was perfect in my eyes, absolutely perfect. He grew up in a loving Christian home, attended a sweet little Christian school, and sustained an image in my mind of a purely perfect man who happened to love me—the one who made royal mistakes in her life. I was the one who had a “past,” and I assumed that because he didn’t make the mistakes I made in college, he was flawless. But the mistake that Greg had just admitted to socked me in the gut, and the reality set in that my husband was an imperfect human just like me.
As the weeks passed after the morning of Greg’s confession, God showed me that this painful incident was a blessing. Though I never once questioned my marriage or Greg’s incredible characteristics, this sudden realization of my husband’s imperfection was one that forced me to question my own views of God, to take a look at the fact that I had placed Greg on the pedestal that was meant for my jealous God. This reminder to reflect was a very good thing:
- I was forced to look at Jesus as the center of my world rather than viewing my guy as the definition of my existence.
- I was thrown into a new reality that no human can live up to expectations of love, fulfillment, forgiveness and adoration that should only be placed on our King.
- I was placed right at the throne of my King, waiting for Him to redefine who is top priority in my life, because He is my divine, jealous God.
Whatever kind of relationship you are living out, take some time to evaluate whether you, like me, put your guy in a place in your life and heart that only God should inhabit. Just as I did in this transformational point of my faith, take a look at this passage from Colossians, and use this Scripture as a mirror to your own heart and affections.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1–4 NIV).
Set your hearts on things above.
Have you yet to approach the throne of your divine jealous God? Are you waiting at His feet as you hand over your entire heart and allow Him to mold and shape you into a man or woman of pure passion and faith? This pure passion will pour into all of your relationships, especially your romantic ones, so that a self-less love develops and these relationships point out to the world around you: Jesus is King.
Have you developed a desire first for Jesus before you dive into sexual passion for your husband or wife? Jesus will fill every ounce of your heart, thus allowing the special someone in your life to add to those spaces in your hear t and not strive to fill any voids that he is incapable of filling.
The appeal of sex is both emotional and physical. Setting our hearts on Jesus first protects our hearts and bodies from relationships based only on sex. When we set our hearts and wait at the throne of our King, we open our relationships to a new dynamic above and beyond one that is sexual—a rich relationship based on respect for each other’s hearts and minds rather than just each other’s bodies.
Set your minds on things above.
Do you commit your minute-by-minute thoughts to Jesus, checking in with Him throughout the day? That giddy feeling of a newly intensified romance can easily overtake our every thought throughout the day. It is fun to daydream about our special someone, thinking about where he or she is and what he or she is doing at that very moment even though we texted each other just a few minutes ago. These mushy-gushy feelings are fun and important for keeping the romance alive but when they border on obsession, and take our focus off of our ever divine and jealous God, we must find a balance throughout the day for where we set our minds.
One productive way to focus our thoughts in the heavenly direction is to pray for our significant other. Wouldn’t your husband be blessed to know you took to the throne his stressful day and conversed with Jesus on how you could encourage him? Wouldn’t your wife love to know you had lifted her up in prayer? Staying in constant communication with our King helps us to be better spouses, fiancées, girlfriends and boyfriends to the ones we love so much.
When we set our hearts and minds on Jesus, two things happen:
- The romantic ideal we have constructed in our mind gets rightfully dethroned.
- We’re able to love each other even better worshipping at the feet of the King.
*Excerpted from Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama by Sarah Francis Martin. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. ©2012. Used with permission.
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FEATURED GUEST: Sarah Martin
Sarah Francis Martin has a passion to do life with 20-somethings and loves encouraging her younger girlfriends to LIVE OUT! the Kingship of Christ in everyday life. Sarah is a Texas girl at heart but loves her home in North Carolina. She is a wife and a mom of a rambunctious four-year-old. You can read more from Sarah in her upcoming book titledStress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties In A Decade Of Drama (Thomas Nelson, June 2012). She also blogs at www.liveitoutblog.com