Summary: Desiring God leads to raised awareness of who He is and a raised awareness of who God is leads to reshaped priorities that fit His, and reshaped priorities that fit His condition us to recognize that God is enough and when we recognize God is enough we become completely dependent on Him.
Hebrews 13:4 "Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery."
Our goal as followers including those of us who are married is to remain faithful. We started the series on Marriage and the Jesus follower by asking three questions from the teaching of Jesus designed to help us reflect on our mission as followers.
1. Do I love Jesus more than my stuff?
2. Is the family of God more important to me than my own?
3. Will I gladly leave my home behind to share the Gospel of Jesus with others?
We discussed how selfishness is a core motivator that keeps us from the mission of Jesus, and how this sin is a serious contributor to the breakdown of marriages and other relationships. Married individuals who are each centered on Jesus is a marriage that can answer these questions with a resounding YES.
Then last week we talked about our motive for doing religious stuff. We asked, "Why we do what we do?" If I bless my wife because I want something in return from her, does that prove I love her? Does she respond to that kind of manipulation in a positive way? Uh, the answer to that question is obvious. The same concept is true with our relationship in Jesus. When we come to Jesus because we want Him to meet our needs, we want to be saved, go to heaven, receive whatever blessing we're asking Him for at the time, we have the wrong motive. I do religious stuff not because of what God will do for me, but because the stuff I do are disciplines that help me see Jesus more clearly. I want more Jesus. Not more of what Jesus can do for me. It's impossible to be a follower of Jesus unless you have been changed, transformed from a selfish person to a selfless person. Jesus changes us. We don't change ourselves.
Let's take these ideas one step further. Hopefully your heart is at a place now where you've answered the three questions posed above in the affirmative. You love Jesus more than your stuff. You believe the family of God is more important than your own. And you are gladly willing to leave your home to share the Gospel of Jesus with others. Jesus is changing you. You don't do religious stuff like pray, read the Bible, go to church, take communion because you have to, or because it's a ritual you're used to, you do these things because they are disciplines that help you see Jesus more clearly. You learn more about the heart of Jesus, and you long to be with Him more and more.
Let's look at a marriage relationship. Paul says in Ephesians 5 that husbands are to love their wives as Jesus loves His church. He also concludes that when a man and a woman are united into one "it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one."
When a husband and a wife "come together as one" this process is what we call intimacy. What would you think of a marriage if you knew that one or both spouses had no desire for the other? Would you believe this marriage to be healthy? Why or why not? I'm pretty sure that in a marriage where one or both spouses have no passion for the other, this is not a healthy relationship. According to educated and experienced people who know such things, men have an incredibly powerful emotional need – his need to know that his wife desires him. In the book "Captivating - Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul", John and Stasi Eldredge write, "Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities - as a reflection of God's own heart. You are a woman to your soul, to the very core of your being. And so the journey to discover what God meant when he created woman in his image...that journey begins with your heart. Another way of saying this is that the journey begins with desire."
Let's take a break here and talk about another way to illustrate intimacy. Let's say we're talking to a guy who is really passionate about hockey. How would you know that he's really into hockey? He would know a lot about the game, players, stats and he would be able to talk about it for some length. That makes sense right? If this same guy claims to be really passionate about hockey, but, doesn't know a whole lot about it, we would question, and rightly so, his 'passion'.
So with this idea in our heads what would you think about a husband who doesn't really know what turns his wife on? Or a wife who has no clue what her husband needs from her? Does it make sense to question their desire for each other? I think so. Now Paul says, that a husband should be just as clued into his wife's needs as Jesus is clued into what the church needs. This is desire; and desire is the beginning of intimacy.