Scripture Texts: Matthew 14:22-36; Matthew 15:1-9
It is real easy to give something lip service without much connection behind it. That is what Jesus is accusing the religious leaders of his day of doing in regard to God. They had their big elaborate worship services complete with fancy robes, fancy songs and high sounding rites and rituals. All the while their hearts were more connected with their rituals and rites than with God.
Any of our beloved and important practices can fall prey to losing its connection to the heart of God. Times of worship, mission, service, prayer and study can all be done while missing the very reason we do all these things. Before we are too hard on the religious leaders we must come to terms with the fact that it could just as easily be us, and probably has been.
It is not only our relationship with God that we run the danger of having a disconnect between our words, actions, and our heart. In our marriage we might say all the right things and do all the right things while leaving our heart out of the equation. Utter the words I love you to our spouse without the connection of our heart behind it ring empty.
When our words do not match our heart falsehood is allowed to enter into our marriage. At the outset this might not seem too bad, in fact we might justify it by thinking we need to say it until it is true, even when we do not feel it. Reality is rather than say something to our spouse that is not connected with our heart, we need to search our own heart to see where the disconnect is.
Empty words left uninspected grow separation in a marriage. Once the separation begins it becomes easier to offer empty words. Then the vicious spiral has begun and the ending is usually not real pretty. Over time it becomes impossible to trust the words shared between spouses and communication becomes superficial and insignificant.
The best way to prevent this disconnect is to ruthlessly pursue a life-giving connection with our spouse. Tending the condition of our hearts, and relationship is top priority if we are to cultivate a healthy marriage. This requires time together, both quantity and quality. Time to talk, laugh, cry and live life deeply together. All of the time invested will allow us to offer our heart and our words to our spouse creating a marriage that is full and healthy.