Friday, September 14, 2007

The Cross of Marriage

Today I want to write about the cross of marriage. No, I don't mean the cross we are called to bear in our marriage. I mean the cross Jesus bore so we don't have to. I was recently reminded of a good book on the cross entitled Outrageous Mercy by Wm. P. Farley. Farley's common writing style makes breezing through this book easy. And yet, easy reading doesn't mean fluffy reading. Farley gets to the heart of Christianity in this little book, and I believe to the heart of everything else. Definitely worthy of a place on the nightstand. I'll give a couple teasers.

"The cross is the window through which we learn everything we need to know about God, humanity, wisdom, worship,the purpose of suffering, the purpose of life, and a host of other issues. If you knew nothing else but the cross, but you knew it thoroughly, you would know everything essential for this life and the next."

"Every Christian who really understands the cross boasts in Christ alone for all meaning and dignity in this life and the life to come. To the degree that we see the world through the window of the cross, we will be dead to the world. Increasingly irrelevant are the accumulation of things and pride in accomplishments. We can lay aside the need to talk about our degrees, job titles, and possessions. A Christian who boasts in the cross is dead to the search for meaning and personal fulfillment in ministry, success, money, education, or possessions."

I would add marriage to Farley's list of things the Christian is dead to search for meaning and personal fulfillment in. How many minutes a day do we spend in thoughts and conversations about our marriage? How many minutes a day to we spend in meditation and conversation about the cross and its implications on this world? Is it even possible to pretend we care more about the center of reality - the cross - than we do about our marriage? And yet, our marriage is part of this world, not the world to come.

God doesn't relate to us on the basis of our marriage. God relates to us on the basis of Christ's cross. So the cross is more important to us than marriage - whether we actively live that notion out or not. With that in mind, the next several posts will focus on various aspects and implications of the cross in our marriage.

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