"First comes love; then comes marriage, then come __________in the baby carriage."
-Old nursery rhyme-
That well-loved childhood song still runs true today. Take Jack and Mary. They first met at the home of a mutual friend holding a Bible study gathering for singles. Their goal of meeting someone compatible was fulfilled. After a few dates and noted similarities in Chinese food, popular television shows, and the fact that both had stable careers with a bonus of physical attraction, they tied the knot.
A year later, Jack Junior entered the scene. He brought lots of joy and some new responsibilities that sometimes overwhelmed them. As a response to the tension and overwhelming daily burdens, Jack started finding relief by playing computer games. It began as a short reprieve from reality and morphed into untold hours on end. Mary resorted to cooking shows, trying out all the new recipes, indulging in sweets, and adding on unwanted pounds.
After two years of living separate lives in the same home, the dam broke. Jack and Mary were on the brink of divorce. In their last fight, Jack uttered, "I cannot leave any longer like this. You are isolated in your corner, and I am in mine. The only time we come out is with our boxing gloves on and stepping into the fighting ring. We don't have any joy in life together. I'm done! I need somebody else, someone who could make me happy".
What's really going on here?
Shouldn't they be happy? They have everything they need for "true happiness." A wonderful child, careers, physical beauty. So why do they feel so distant in their relationship? They both love each other, they love Jack Jr., and they have similar goals for finances and their future. All the physical needs are cared for. However, they forgot one vital facet of life here on earth. That is the most important relationship of all: a relationship with God.
As fate had it, a friend invited them to attend church. That Sunday, the preacher spoke about reconciliation with God and each other, giving them a renewed perspective and meaning for their relationship and family. From that day, they committed themselves to prayer, attended a weekly Bible study group, and connected with other believers. The trajectory of their lives was radically changed! The prior path led to all kinds of addictions, division, divorce, and an emotionally painful future for themselves and Jack Jr. On the contrary, now, they are experiencing real joy, unity, a thriving marriage, and a stable legacy for the next generation.
“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.”
2 Peter 1:3-9 MSG
JM Arrunategui/"Do You Believe?." Paul Tripp/ Canva pro
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