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Monday, February 22, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: 1 Corinthians 5-8

As you read the Sacred writings of our faith, have you ever noticed that there are places where the perspective of the author shows through more than others? The section of 1 Corinthians I read today is certainly one of those places where Paul’s personal perspectives are rather apparent. This is particularly true in the sections where he discusses marriages/unions.

Paul’s personal perspective on this is obvious. He even went so far as to say, “Sometimes, I wish everyone was single like me.” He does throw a bone to those of us who are married/partnered when he said: “The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.” Not necessarily a ringing endorsement of the institution. Given Paul’s perspective, I find it ironic that one of the most used passages at wedding services comes just six chapters after these words (1 Corinthians 13 – often called the love chapter)!

So why Paul might have had issues against marriages/unions?

There are the obvious reasons. At a time when the faith was being grown by missionaries willing to spread the word, it was important that folks could pick up and go wherever they were called to with as few encumbrances as possible. That would be one of the obvious reasons. Some reasons are much less obvious. Some more recently have theorized that Paul had his own issues around sexuality/sexual orientation. This question about what Paul had against marriages/unions, however, isn’t the one that draws my attention.

Instead, I find it more productive to ask myself, “How can my marriage/union draw me deeper into my relationship with God?” And for me the answer is obvious.

You see before I met Mike, my friends and associates considered me something of a relationship guru. I could always step back, observe the dynamics of their relationships, and offer a constructive word of advice that seemed incredibly helpful (at least that’s what they told me to my face). Then I met Mike. I no longer had the luxury of stepping back and watching relationships from a distance. I found myself smack-dab in the middle of one. In the process I discovered this business of loving someone and being loved is MUCH more complicated than I ever realized. My marriage/union has taught me the complexities of love and the role that humility plays. I have taken these (and other learnings) from my human relationship and applied them to my relationship with God. And you know what? I believe my relationship with God has grown stronger. Not in spite of my relationship – but because of it.

So how about you? Has your intimate relationship been an obstacle that has held back your relationship with God, or has your intimate relationship enriched your relationship with God?

Til next time…

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