Saturday, June 27, 2009

God at the center

Most Christians will tell you that it's important to have God at the center of your relationship. God will offer you love when your spouse doesn't. God will provide forgiveness for both of you. God will shape you. God will grow you. God will sustain you. People are broken and flawed and you and your partner will fail each other (over and over and over again...thank you Kendall Payne). But God is perfect, God's love is not broken or incomplete, God's love is perfect.

I've thought a lot about having God at the center of a relationship. I've shared that with couples and counseled about getting God back to the center, particularly in times of trial.

Thursday, I had new clarity about that notion. I thought about all the pressures that are placed upon a couple. I thought about burdens of work (or unemployment), kids, family, naysayers, bills...all of those things apply pressure to the relationship. I had the visual image of a 2x4 and all of that pressure being applied at the center. You and your partner stand at either end and support the weight from your position, but the center, if unsupported, under too much weight will snap. That's why you need God there. If God is at the center of your relationship, then when all that weight is applied, when the burdens become too much to bear, God will hold the weight, and support your relationship so that it doesn't snap.

God's support and strength don't give us a free ride. We still have to support our ends. After all if there is strength at the center, but not at either end, the board will still snap...just in a different direction.

When trials come, when the burdens are overwhelming, it is important to have God at our center, to allow God to carry some of the weight, to not insist that we must do it by ourselves or for ourselves.

We need God's support in our relationships, otherwise the load might be just too much to bear.

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