August 25, 2010

More Like Falling in Love, Part 1

HUSBANDS GO ALL OUT IN YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR WIVES, EXACTLY AS CHRIST did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting” (Eph. 5:25, Message).*
In my world there are very few constants. But here’s one: Each morning—whether I’m awakened by the shrill of my alarm or the splendor of a lazy Sunday—I roll over, clean the sleep out of my eyes, and kiss my beautiful wife good morning. Whether we share a leisurely breakfast or chat as we hurriedly get ready, she’s the one I share my first moments with. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
At work, I’m either swamped with a full calendar or barricaded in my office balancing never-ending projects. Nevertheless, I love the impromptu communication my wife and I share amid a hectic day. Walking between appointments, I always find time to send a simple text message; when my journey’s a little longer, a short call quickly brightens the day. Since I’m logged in to ?e-mail for work anyway, a quick message—or if I’m extra lucky, an instant message—is just a click away. Thank heavens for technology. What did people do before cell phones and e-mail?
2010 1529 page29For me, the concept of 9 to 5 is pretty much nonexistent. But whether it’s at 6:00 or 11:00, over dinner or hot chocolate, we make time for each other every evening. I wish our conversations never had to end. But alas, we both have to function in the morning. After brushing my teeth, I crawl into bed and wait for her (whether dressing up or dressing down, we all know girls take more time in the bathroom, right?). As I reflect on my day, at last, she slips into bed beside me. Before rolling over and closing my eyes, I kiss her one last time. The final moments of my day.

I wouldn’t want it any other way.
No One Way
OK, I have a confession: I’m not married. But hear me out, because I think I have this whole marriage thing figured out (cue the skepticism). As one of my college professors used to say, “Communication is the key to life.” I concur. I think we can also agree that God created marriage to be the most intimate of all human relationships. So if we merge these two independent clauses, we’re left with one concise conclusion: Communication is the key to marriage (or at least one of the keys).
Here’s another earth shaker: Our relationship with God, in ideal form, is meant to mirror our most intimate human relationship. It should be more than acquaintance or even friendship. It’s marriage—for this life and beyond. God even says it Himself, often referring to the church—and the individuals who form it—as His bride. In theory, we all understand this concept. In reality, especially when it comes to communication (i.e., prayer), we don’t always practice it.
Have you ever been frustrated with prayer? I know I have. The concept of kneeling down before going to bed or folding my hands and closing my eyes never really worked for me. And that’s just fine. If I spoke to my “wife” through text and e-mail without reserving time for more in-depth communication, I’d be in hot water. In the same vein, if I cut out all communication during my busy day, she’d wonder if she was just out of sight, out of mind. Just as there’s no silver bullet for communication in marriage, there’s no one magic method for connecting with God.
Whether it’s evening, morning, or sometime in between, it’s important to set aside chunks of time to bond with God. But it’s equally important to wake up with Him, go to sleep with Him, and make Him part of our crazy lives. Connecting with God: It’s the first step to falling in love.

And He doesn’t want it any other way.

*Texts credited to Message are from The Message. Copyright ” 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.


Jimmy Phillips writes from Bakersfield, California, where he is marketing and communication coordinator for San Joaquin Community Hospital. This article was published August 26, 2010.