Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Don't Give Up

Scripture Texts: Genesis 29; Genesis 30; Ruth 4:10-11

We have now sat for a while wondering how these passages relate to cultivating a godly marriage. The idea of having multiple wives did not seem to fit. The competition of Rachel and Leah did not seem to fit. Even more challenging is the fact that as all of this is happening there continues to be the birth of children which seems to be something God has made happen. So, even more than figuring out how it relates to marriage we have been working on how it relates to our relationship with God.

What if we were to lay aside the whole multiple wife thing and chalk it up to cultural appropriateness for the time. Stretching even more, what if we lay aside the whole giving of a servant to your husband so that they can have children. Again cultural appropriateness for the time. To stretch one more time, lay aside the idea of having children so that you can win a competition with your sister. I am not sure that can be chalked up to cultural appropriateness but it does not seem to be a big deal in the story. Laying aside all these things what are we left with?

A man, Jacob who is living into the promise of God to be a great nation and to live in the land of Canaan. We find Jacob traveling back to his ancestral land to find a wife so that he does not marry one of the women from Canaan and be tempted to follow their gods and religious system instead of God. When if comes down to it you have Jacob doing his best to follow after the plan of God, even when others seem to be working against him.

In the midst of it all Jacob is found to be faithful to the plan of God even if others are conspiring against him. Jacob stands firm and confronts his uncle Laban when he needs to, yet he humbly goes about fulfilling the call of God to the promise.

Our marriage looks nothing like the marriages that Jacob was in with Leah, Rachel and the two servants. We have staked our claim to one husband and one wife. Still there is something we are hoping is in common, our faithfulness no matter what. People and situations outside of our marriage do not always follow through on their promises. Not everyone we deal with is always above board. This does not give us the right to treat them poorly, or to give up on our faithfulness to God.

Our faithfulness to God is also reflected in our faithfulness to each other. As much as we try to avoid it, there are times when we let each other down. In our marriage this has been most often in small ways. There have not been any major moral failures, only times of disappointment or forgetfulness. However, even with "small" stuff we must remain focused on the faithfulness we share with God and each other. This means we do not give up when things do not go as planned. During those time we talk, apologize, and keep moving forward toward the future God has called us to.

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