Are you normal? If so, you have probably been to a friend’s house and admired (coveted) something that he owned. Nice big house, nice shiny car, beautiful lush green lawn, – you get the idea. So, let’s assume we are all normal and prone to wanting something we currently don’t have.
Years ago my wife and I were invited to a friend’s home for dinner. They told us to bring our boys, who were young at the time, to play with their kids. It was a beautiful Fall afternoon and the kids immediately went out into the backyard to play. Looking out the back windows my eyes fell upon the swing set of all swing sets. It was massive, colorful and so inviting. It wasn’t just a swingset, it was a playground. The kids didn’t stop running and squealing until dinnertime.
I wanted that swingset. Not his, but one of my very own. Anyway, my boys deserved something that cool, from a dad that was cool. They should have one. So without asking my wife or my Shepherd, I whipped out the credit card and it magically appeared a few days later. What’s an extra $77 a month in the budget (for a few short years) anyway?
Oddly enough, when I opened the massive boxes that sat in our yard, this is what they had delivered to me…..
There must have been some mistake. I wanted a cool, sturdy, joy-inducing swingset. Not this box of stuff. Surely they don’t expect me to have to do something. That sounds like work. I wasn’t planning on that. Can someone put it together for me? I’m just wanting the awesome, envy of the neighborhood, results – not the labor-intensive, get your hands dirty, take up your weekend manual labor thing. What a bummer.
Well – this is the guy I frequently encounter when counseling/mentoring marriages. He sees a marriage that looks awesome, fun and rewarding, and wants to have one like that. He may invest some money in a marriage book, seminar or study assuming he will magically get one at the conclusion of the material. What a bummer.
What he inevitably finds out – what we all inevitably find out – is that we can’t order “one of those” and have it come pre-assembled. What we get are the raw materials with which to construct a beautiful, sturdy, awesome marriage – and, oh yeah – an Instruction Manual. If we take the time to study the Manual, and deliberately assemble the parts according to the instructions – we will find that over time we will look up and see an amazing sight.
We will have a marriage that others will look at and say “I want that”. And God will look at and say “well done, son”.
Are we putting in the time, effort and expense into building a world-class, God-glorifying marriage? It won’t happen unless we do.
Those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. ~Author Unknown