One of the first questions we ask premarital couples is this: Is your spiritual growth orbit similar? Is there common ground between you – the same life lessons learned? The goal is to determine spiritual compatibility which is the essential cornerstone needed for a fruitful and lasting marriage. It’s crucial to know the history of your potential mate-to-be. Have they heard from God; are they hearing from God; and do you trust that they WILL hear from God when the added responsibility of marriage is placed upon them? It’s not perfection that we seek, only consistency.It’s crucial to know the history of your potential mate-to-be. Have they heard from God; are they hearing from God; and do you trust that they WILL hear from God when the added responsibility of marriage is placed upon them? Click To Tweet
I like the Gospel account of the Emmaus Road, two disciples walking with Jesus, not recognizing him at first but then both receiving revelation of who he was, at the same time. Seasons of joint growth are the most pleasant in a marriage. Each spouse having their eyes opened and then being transparent with one another – this is the posture of strength every couple needs. Stay humble, stay open, and your marriage will endure. The spiritual-growth orbit of husband and wife will not match exactly, of course, but they should at least be close. The testing comes when one heart burns and the other does not; when one set of eyes are opened and the other remains veiled.
I had another “orbiting thought” recently (pun intended) as I read this Bible verse: “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thes. 1:9-10 (emphases mine) As I pondered this portion of scripture, it struck me as a wonderful summation of the Gospel, driven by three strong verbs: turn, serve, wait.
Far from being a stagnant or stationary truth, this is a “rotating” one. We “turn” from idols, any ungodly resource that we are relying on. We “serve” God, growing in character and gifting. We “wait” for his Son, with anticipation and expectancy. Rom. 8:19 2 Cor. 4:17-18 These are the actions that keep our lives in rotation, traveling if you will, in our spiritual-growth orbit.
Somewhere back in our school days, we learned that the earth is 93 million miles in distance from the sun. The earth orbits the sun at the speed of 19 miles per second, or 67,000 miles per hour. It takes one year to make a full orbit. To gauge such a speed is difficult, but consider that the average speed of a bullet fired from a gun, is 1,700 miles per hour. That makes the earth’s orbiting speed almost 40 times faster.
Spiritual application? If the earth were to slow down, it’s gravitational pull would place it in a closer orbit to the sun. Results? Let’s just summarize it by saying that weather conditions and life on earth, would become very, very turbulent. And if the earth were to stop orbiting, it would be pulled into the sun unto total destruction, in about 65 days. Now, about that spiritual-growth orbit. Have you ever witnessed a fellow believer slow down, or even stop in their pursuit of God? It’s tragic, to see them pulled into the gravity of their unabated sin nature, destroying not only themselves but oftentimes entire families.
While there’s plenty to turn FROM (ungodly resources) there is plenty to turn TO – namely, a beautiful God who has resources more powerful and more fulfilling than anything this world has to offer. Far from a “one and done” proposition, we need to “turn” our hearts daily, laying down our lives to grow in character and “serve” in our calling. This is the natural outflow of having a face to face (turning towards) lifestyle with God, and will keep us engaged with the future hope of the return of God’s Son.
Turning, serving, waiting – will keep a marriage on course.