“The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved by only the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.” — Henry David Thoreau

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (esp. 19)
Acts 7:48-53 (esp. 51)
Ephesians 4:25-32 (esp. 30)

As a single, I view marriage differently than my hitched friends. The conditions of this institution leave me baffled. Perhaps the seemingly complex and intricate interactions of two persons should not shock me so much, but they do.

What dizzies me? The little things that set two people spinning. Someone says something off the cuff, or without thinking, or not at all. The resultant frustrations amplify themselves out of proportion. I feel like when I was a child, and I could never see the pop-up T-Rex in those squares of orange and yellow that looked like squares of orange and yellow. “I just don’t see it,” I used to say. “Magical Eye” was never magical to me.

But married people move exceptionally close to one another. The nakedness of bodies symbolizes the nakedness of the souls. Serious self-revelation occurs. Each asks in the giving, “You won’t hurt me, will you? You’re going to care about me and not push me away, right?”

This unclothing of the heart leaves it much more susceptible to scrapes and bruises. Thus, “The meatloaf is under-cooked,” or “You didn’t feed the dog,” come off as personal rejections. Somewhere between the spoken and the assumed, someone hears, “You don’t love me.” 

When God gives his promised collateral to us, his own Spirit, we have an obligation to treat him with tenderness, with sensitivity. God approaches unguarded when he gives this part of himself.

“Don’t hurt me, for I have come so as to be near you. I am jealous, but I won’t force you. Please don’t walk away. I care about you intensely, and this caring can help you live with such caring, such intensity. Don’t crush this.”

If this sounds like someone or something you’ve witnesses before, that makes sense. Lovers pushed away cry out in pain, call aloud for reinstatement of intimacy. God does not do this because he is like us; we do this because we are like him.

He’s approaching each of us. He comes honestly and vulnerably and naked of heart.

“You won’t hurt me, will you? Will you care and not push me away?”

He knows we will. Still, he approaches.

What grieves God’s Spirit?
How do you resist Him?  Why?
How can you not extinguish the Spirit’s fire in your life?


© Revolworks 2006