Monday, August 31, 2015

Marriage and Elephant Snacks

Scripture Texts: 1 Corinthians 16; Psalm 68

Many people have used the African proverb about how to eat an elephant... one small bite at a time. When we face great challenges it is better to create small, relatively easy steps to accomplish all that is before us. Paul is using this line of thinking as he reminds the people of Corinth about the financial commitment they made to Jerusalem.

He reminds them it will be very difficult to wait until he comes to collect all the money, rather it would be best to set aside some money on the first day of each week. Creating a small step each week will make the significant task more likely to be accomplished.

When it comes to engaging our spiritual journey the distance between where we are and where we could be seems huge. Paul's advice to the Corinthian church about money applies. If we dedicate small steps in growing deeper in our relationship with God we will have greater success. Instead of trying to read the entire Bible in two weeks, commit to one chapter each day for two weeks, and build from there.

It is safe to say everyone would like to have a healthy and deep marriage. The effort required to attain this goal can seem overwhelming, especially if we try to do it all at once. Key to cultivating a great marriage is doing the small things with consistency. Setting aside time, five or ten minutes, for each other everyday. Never underestimate the power of a small gift, especially when it is not a birthday, anniversary or other special day.

One area that we have not been very good at over the 16 years we have been married is having a regular date night. We know some couples that have a date night each week, time for dinner and time out each week. Regardless of our efforts, we have not been able to establish the practice. What we have been able to do is create times through out the year when we share an overnight away together.

Someday we might find the right pattern to a regular date night. We might also find there to be another important small step to cultivating a healthy marriage. No matter what, we must keep in mind that the big work of a great marriage is accomplished by consistent small steps. Eating the elephant one bite at a time.

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