WEEK 7

FRIDAY

Are You The One For Me?

Part 5

 

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12: 9-10

 

Today so many people have given up on marriage because the divorce statistics imply that it simply doesn’t work anymore. That it’s out of fashion and that nobody really has that kind of commitment to stay true to that one person until death. Well, the truth is marriage does work. And if we’re honest with ourselves we’ll realize deep within our heart and soul, at the core of our very being, that we want it to work. It’s what we all long for.

All of us want someone who will accept us for who we are. That someone who will bring out the best in us and help us reach our fullest potential. We long for a companion who will grow old with us, that one person from God to share our life’s experiences and pathways with. Indeed deep in our soul, we want marriage to work.

But why are so many people abandoning marriage altogether? It’s because we have somehow forgotten that marriage must serve a higher purpose. The deep love that God has placed in the hearts of husband and wife must serve a greater cause. Marriage must be the vehicle wherein people see the power and grace of God at work through the covenant of love two people made with each other. Marriage must always be seen in the light of serving others. The relationship must eventually affect and forward God’s eternal purposes. With this in mind, we go to the next and last question this Valentines week:

 

Will our relationship leave a legacy for God and His church?

 

It’s All About Me

 

Have you ever heard of ‘selfism’? It’s a concept in modern psychology today described by Dr. Paul Vitz in his book, ‘Psychology As Religion: The Cult of Self-worship’. It’s a new trend that centers on you as the only functional ethical principle. In other words, all of them are wrong, it’s only you who’s right. So in any relationship you may have, it’s always what’s good and pleasurable for you that matter. No thought for the other parties involved are even considered. The late Charles Colson wrote about this trend in his book, ‘Lies That Go Unchallenged’.

“These values are hostile to our ability to form permanent relationships or to commit to such values as duty and self-sacrifice. Instead… “with monotonous regularity, the ‘selfist’ literature sides with those values that encourage divorce” and the breaking of family ties.

Part of the problem is the nature of the therapeutic process. The psychotherapist is typically preoccupied with an individual patient, and he seldom challenges his version of the facts. He doesn’t listen to children, parents, or the spouse who might be involved.

Worse, some therapists encourage divorce on theoretical grounds. They teach that if either spouse feels the relationship has stagnated, the marriage isn’t worth saving.

‘Selfist’ ideals give some counselors a strong bias against parents. In recovery group settings, patients are under pressure to describe how badly their families treated them. Patients thus become self-pitying ‘victims’—with a strong sense of moral superiority.” – Charles Colson

 

Proverbs 14:        

 

12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

To Love & To Cherish, ‘Til Death Do Us Part

 

“If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” – Amy Carmichael

 

Robertson McQuilkin was a missionary, professor, and university president. In his years of service for God’s Kingdom, it was passion for the lost that drove him continually forward. But he’s probably most remembered for this one loving and sacrificial act he did – he resigned his tenure as President of Columbia International University to care full-time for Muriel, his wife of 40 years, who was sick of Alzheimer’s.

This wonderful love story is told in web articles, interviews and in the book McQuilkin wrote entitled, ‘A Promise Kept’. The articles from Christianity Today are especially insightful:

 

“Robertson was a college president who still had eight years to go before retirement. Muriel, once the host of a successful radio program, was experiencing tragic memory failure. She could not speak in sentences, only words, and often words that made little sense. But she could say one sentence, and she said it often: ‘I love you.’ While Robertson’s friends urged him to arrange for the institutionalization of Muriel, he would not stand for it. ‘How could anyone love her the way I do?’ asked Robertson.

Robert thought much about the part of the wedding vow that says, “To love and to honor in sickness and in health?” But not only has he thought about it, he’s lived it.

Believing that being faithful to Muriel “in sickness and in health” was a matter of integrity, Robertson McQuilkin resigned his presidency to care for his wife full-time. Several years have passed since his resignation, and Muriel has steadily declined. She sits most of the time, while he writes. “She seems still to have affection for me,” says Robertson. “What more could I ask? Daily, I discern new manifestations of the kind of person she is. I also see fresh manifestations of God’s love – the God I long to love more fully.” – Christianity Today

 

How wonderful that even in our age of shallow commitments the Lord still gives us stories of His sustaining grace in marriage. For Robertson McQuilkin, his passion for God and His mission, more than anything else first applied to his family and home. True leadership is spiritual leadership. As McQuilkin himself writes:

 

“I have been startled by the response to the announcement of my resignation. Husbands and wives renewing marriage vows, pastors telling the story to their people. It was a mystery to me, until a distinguished oncologist, who lives constantly with dying people, told me, “Almost all women stand by their men; very few men stand by their women.” Perhaps people sensed this contemporary tragedy and somehow were helped by a simple choice I considered the only option.

It’s more than keeping promises and being fair, however. As I watch her brave descent into oblivion, Muriel is the joy of my life. Daily I discern new manifestations of the kind of person she is, the wife I always loved.” – Robertson McQuilkin

 

This Valentines Season, I hope and pray that we do reflect upon these four questions that we studied. God is indeed the source of love. Yes even romantic love. Let us seek His will and mission first above all. When the time is right, who knows if one day we might eventually ask that special someone, “Are You The One For Me?”

 

“Love… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

– 1 Corinthians 13: 7-8

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