Some of you may have noticed the Catch went out late yesterday. When that happens you can usually assume technical difficulties or personal issues. The latter can come from the fact that I spent most the morning on a Catch that didn’t work, or I’m having some kind of personal struggle with the subject matter. Both were true yesterday. After spending most of my time creating a Catch that Marti nixed (you and I are both lucky she did), I then struggled with the subject matter of a new one. The Catch I ended up sending out was a revised version of something Marti had written some time ago to explain something about relationships. Perhaps you will remember the following:
Our attitude towards someone always determines our altitude. If you think you have married the “wrong” person, like Esther, but choose to treat him/her like the “right” one, that person will turn into the right one. On the other hand, if you married the right one, yet treat him/her as the wrong one, that person will turn into the wrong one. This holds true for all our relationships. How we treat each other will determine who we become.
The big question was, and still is: how much shall I tell you about where I stand in my own marriage on these things? Shall I just put this out there as information you can apply to your own relationships, or shall I apply it to mine with my wife? I know that personal application is always the way to go, but how much shall I reveal?
Every leader or pastor struggles with this question. We are supposed to be applying every lesson we teach and proving by our lives that all of our teaching and our advice works. You just assume that we have the happiest families and marriages, especially if we don’t tell you otherwise. We don’t give you any reason to think anything else. There is no disclaimer on our sermons. Look at all the wisdom we keep spouting; of course we are doing what we say. Not!
Take for instance this excellent piece of advice I gave you yesterday about how to think about your spouse … how do I line up on that? Well, of course I married the right one … ask God about that! But I’m afraid if you followed me around here for a couple of days, it wouldn’t be long until you would get the impression that I must have married the wrong person. This is primarily because I have found it more convenient to blame Marti for all the things I do not like about being married, rather than embrace everything equally — the good and the bad — because with everything that is right about our relationship, I need to be willing to overcome all the perceived negativity. It’s mostly about blame. If I blame her for the struggles I have, I don’t have to overcome them. I can just say I married the wrong person. But that’s because I made it wrong. Making it right is up to me, too, since she is the right one for me.
Over 40 years ago, we taught a marriage conference to a group of newlyweds like us. In fact, our MemberPartners, Tim and Mayre, were at that conference. They’re still married and so are we, but just staying married doesn’t necessarily determine a good marriage. I think we’ll have Tim and Mayre teach the next one, and we’ll attend. I need witnesses.
So I’m making all of you my witnesses. There is going to be a change around here, and all my actions will back up the fact that I married the right one — Marti’s always been the right one; I just haven’t been treating her like she is.
I’m going to the Prayer Warriors with this one. And, by the way, you should all be taking more advantage of them. That’s what they are here for.