Couples “In Tune.”
I love the illustration by A.W.Tozer, contained in his book The Pursuit of God. He says that “one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other. They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.”
When I am being “tuned” to Christ, my heart is in adjustment, seeking to be in one accord with Him. The natural progression is unto marital alignment. When Christ is the common ground between my wife and I, our differences tend to be complimentary rather than divisive. This is not the ONLY way that couples stay strong in unity, but I believe it is the PRIMARY source from which all others derive their strength.
My all time favorite marriage diagram is the triangle below. When I feel distant from my spouse, the short term solution might be an adjustment on the horizontal plane, which is well and good. But when I add to that, an adjustment to the vertical metric, closeness with God, it’s always more fruitful. Couples “in tune” prioritize closeness with God.
Spiritual receptivity is the bottom line in a healthy marriage. The habit of spiritual response is a goldmine, the place of wealth that truly “funds” our marriages. There is a massive difference when my approach is “from Christ to my wife”, versus, “from self to my wife.” I have something fresh to offer Anne when I’ve met with Jesus first. When I renew harmony in the Spirit, I connect much better in my marriage.
I have yet to discover some kind of “auto-pilot” mode to ensure that my wife and I are in one accord at all times. Tuning, is taking the time to tune, right? In a similar fashion, maintaining the “first love” that Jesus alludes to in the Book of Revelation, bids me to renew my connection with Him on a regular basis. In evaluating the church of Ephesus, Jesus commends them for their hard work, adherence to pure doctrine, and the enduring of hardships. But the weak spot is where Jesus puts the focus: “You have left your first love.” Rev. 2:4
While the commendations were certainly authentic, the area of liability was a threat to the whole. Jesus cautioned them on losing their overall impact. First love, is the wellspring that sustains my life in every other arena, especially in my marriage. Couples “in tune” are spiritual responders that pursue first love renewal.
Now that we’ve checked the top two boxes, let’s talk about variables. If only the triangle diagram was a straight line in real life! Scripture is clear that we are destined to go “from glory to glory” 2 Cor. 3:18 , but we all know that it doesn’t simply mean “from one high point to another.” There are valleys, deep and dark emotional valleys even. We sometimes call them wilderness seasons.
Through personal experience and observation, I find two broad categories by which to understand the wilderness. A “directed wilderness” is a desert season through which I am learning God’s ways. I am embracing the opportunities for growth that God puts before me. On the other hand, a “wandering wilderness” is a desert season in which I am mostly camped out in grumbling and discontentment. If there was ever a place when we needed a friend to believe in us, it is in the wilderness, whichever type it is.
The turbulence of the wilderness is not only sourced from around me but from within me. Yes, difficult circumstances are a real contributor, no question, but it’s my inner response that reveals a harboring of deeper issues. In married life, we have a front row seat to our spouse’s spiritual growth. Wilderness interludes are an integral, balancing component, under-girding us more than we know; they are God’s weight room, his training center, to develop us. Couples “in tune” prayerfully supply comfort and support, as unwavering journey-mates in the wilderness seasons.