“There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9)
“I’ve seen a constant formula at work in my life: the less I receive from God, the more I demand from my wife; the more I receive from God, the more I am set free to give to my wife. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to fill your soul with God. Start defining disappointment with your spouse as spiritual hunger, a cosmic call to worship. Marriage is a wonderful institution, but it is limited. It can’t replace God. Don’t ask it to.” – Gary Thomas
A Christ centered marriage is a calling from God to be witnesses of the light of God within us. Witnesses not only as individuals redeemed by Christ, but as a couple whose marriage has been sanctified by Christ. As I think of this calling I am humbled as I reflect upon my lack of faithfulness to its charge. I look at my marital track record and feel compelled to confess that I have not always been a great mirror of His light – first to Robyn, then the boys and then to my community. In spite of this record God has not withdrawn His call on me to image Him as a husband. In fact my limits as a husband, father and follower of Jesus serve only to magnify the high truth that the love of Jesus is greater than my failings. I have no inherent capacity to “light” my marriage, yet I am mercied by God to bear witness of His love and power. Let me say it again. It is in view of my shortcomings and failures as a husband where God has given me a podium on which to stand and shout – “I AM NOT THE LIGHT. THE ‘TRUE LIGHT’ IS HERE AND GIVES LIGHT TO EVERY MARRIAGE, EVEN MINE!”
So as I testify, let me do it with the clarity and boldness of the Baptizer and the weakness of Paul (2 Cor 12:1-10). I declare in full confidence, there is a Light within me that brings illumination to the paths of marriage and to the dangers of my self-centered “singleness”. Let this testimony be one of few words and many deeds, knowing that my words often dim the Light and my deeds place it on the lampstand, so that it may give light to everyone in the house (Matthew 5:15).
Lord, ever let me be the light of the world, the light of my marriage as I reflect the brightness of your love within my heart. In my union with the one I love, may I never be a shadow of your light. Take from me my darkness by shining anew in me your “true light”. In the name of the “Bright and Morning Star”, Amen.