Glancing at any social media site today (ehm, Valentine’s Day) it’s littered with “I Love You” status updates and online gifts for you to purchase for your special someone.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely enjoy an excuse to get dressed up and go out to a nice dinner. Or get a special gift from Ryan (hope he’s reading this!)
Again, I’m not trying to burst the Valentine’s Day lovey-dovey bubble, but I think it’s definitely a good day for us to take a moment and examine our hearts and motivations for why we purchase things.
Been there, done that (bought the t-shirt)
We’ve all seen it and experienced it and been guilty of it. What’s IT you’re asking?
Proving our marriage is happy, perfect, and problem-free because we have a nice house, fast cars, and drama-free family (yep, we’re going there).
Now I’m not saying that you have to give up all those things in order to live the Christian life and have a Godly marriage. What I am proposing, is what if God did ask you to give up those things? Could you?
Our level of attachment to things can hurt our marriage.
Money and success are only dangerous when they become the foundations we build our marriage on.
Our priorities shift and our insecurities grow when we continue to mask our marital struggles and hide behind our cool car, new clothes, or our artsy “cool” jobs.
Confession time… I’ve definitely had moments of feeling like my own marriage doesn’t quite measure up. Or that Ryan and I are somehow inadequate because I decided to start playing the comparison game. (Which you can NEVER win, btw.)
Thoughts like, “Well, if only we could (go ahead, fill in the blank), then – THEN our marriage would be great like theirs.”
We suddenly feel the pressure to buy buy buy and make sure we have the latest and greatest to show off to our friends. My guilty conscience makes this tough to write; open hearts, shared lives – suck it up Selena!
Looking at my own life, I’ve noticed that when we begin to chase these things – our priorities change; our hearts harden and the arguments begin.
When the pursuit of our faith and knowing Christ gets replaced with the pursuit of money, success and “stuff” – we are headed down the path of brokenness.
The world will tell us that our happiness and confidence should come from the number of “Likes” we get on that Facebook photo of our most recent big-ticket purchase.
But the truth is that none of this matters to the One opinion we should be concerned with.
The truth of the matter
There’s a beautiful moment in the story of David, when he is about to be anointed as King. In 1 Samuel 16:6-13, God reminds us of what He values – the condition of our hearts.
(Verse 6 )”When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.’ (7) But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’”
Eliab was, apparently, one of David’s older brothers. To everyone around them, Eliab was the clear choice to be king. “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him” (verse 6) — nope.
This is not an easy message to hear, but it’s essential for the sake of having a true, fierce marriage that glorifies God.
When we understand the powerful truth of how much God loves us; that while we were still sinners He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross — THAT transforms our hearts.
Suddenly we find ourselves more concerned about eternal things rather than the temporary stuff and it’s liberating!
With Jesus at the center of our lives, our hearts and desires become aligned with Him.
Letting go of the pressures to purchase the next big thing is not always easy, simple, or quick, but it is liberating.
Now, I’m not saying that having “things” is bad. However, if you find them creeping in and starting to dictate your priorities then cling to these words from 1 Samuel 16: “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
Let’s allow God to bring wholeness to our hearts and relieve burdens in our marriage.
Put your hope and trust in the Lord.
Find your confidence and security in Him, the Rock.