On Friday, Lynn will host the next edition of The Intentional Marriage over at CWATV.com. (I hope you’ll tune in and participate in the meme.) As you know by the title of our program, we talk a lot about being intentional in our marriages. And last week, I wrote about thinking of our marriages as training for deeper intimacy with God.
The idea behind an “intentional marriage” is to be an active participant, not passive—being intentional about spending time together, doing things together, and praying for your spouse regularly. It’s about putting your marriage in the forefront of your thoughts and life, not in the background as an afterthought. I hope that makes sense.
This past weekend I made another connection along those lines that I want to share with you. My women’s ministry group at church is just finishing the DeeperStill Bible study Faithful, Abundant, True by Kay Author, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. The last day of this study (led by Beth Moore) spoke about walking in the Spirit on purpose. With intention. Then this morning, one of my devotionals covered Hebrews 5. Take a look at verses 11-14:
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Paul is admonishing the believers for becoming passive in their faith training. They’ve neglected building upon the first foundations of their faith to become mature believers and have even regressed to a state of infancy of their beliefs. They are no longer intentional about their faith or God. They’ve become passive.
Have you ever noticed how you wind up drifting away from your spouse when you don’t spend time together and make time to talk and interact—on purpose, not just out of necessity? Have you noticed how you drift away from God when you forget to pray or wind up so busy you don’t keep that appointed time to meet with Him?
Do you see the connection? Our marriages are an earthly representation of our relationship to Christ, as his bride. When we see our marriages as a training ground of being intentional in a relationship, we are learning what it means to be intentional in our relationship with God.
Just as we have to be intentional in our marriages in order to grow closer to our spouse and mature the relationship, we need to do the same thing in our relationship with God to mature spiritually.
We can’t keep living on milk. Sometimes we have to take a hefty bite of the solid stuff and chew on it for a while to learn and grow in our marriages and our faith. Even when it seems scary, too hard, or just too much work.
Remaining in infancy keeps us from fully experiencing who God is, who our spouses are, and what our marriages and faith lives can become. We miss out on the tasty stuff.
I know this faith walk isn’t easy. Sometimes God calls us to trust Him in whole new ways and calls us to difficult tasks and directions. Not to starve or punish us, but to feed us with His best.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. — 1Peter 2:2-3
Praying and believing,