Yesterday was hip hop Sunday in church. The guest artist (True Server, I believe his name was) shared something that went along with the message. Reflecting on how God created man & woman in Genesis, he pointed out that a spouse is not meant to be someone we seek after as the love of our life. Rather, a spouse in intended to be our "help-mate" in our search for God's love.
Pastor Efrem's message was similar to last weeks' in many ways, but there were still some points that hit me. I'm being struck by the reminder that marriage (or children or family) is not about us, but about God. It is the first ministry God created to reveal Himself to the world. If we don't have a beloved-identity in God, we will mess our marriage up. Brokenness will not be healed by being married--only in finding identity in being God's beloved can we deal with our brokenness.
Using Philippians 2 (and reminding us that Christ identified Himself as a bridegroom and the church as a bride, therefore Jesus is a model for marriage), Efrem reminded us that the marriage relationship is about putting your spouse first, serving them, dying to our selfish desires (being humble), remembering that we are beloved, checking our attitudes (not complaining or fighting for unmerited reasons) and rejoicing in our marriage.
Beth and I have been living more in those areas lately. We also had a date yesterday (one out of the house!). My sister took the boys while we went and used a movie theater gift certificate Beth had. We saw Star Trek. And we didn't go see it because it has been the number one movie in America. We saw it because we're minor Trekkies. There I said it. I actually got my wife into watching movies and series after we were married. She didn't fight it (like she has with Star Wars). She can actually tell you a bit about the Trek universe--more than I can in some areas. And I love her for it. I love that we're able to be nerds together (and are more and more embracing a nerdy identity rather than running from it). May you (and your marriage) live long and prosper.