This is Brazil!

 

In view of the recent World Cup in Brazil and also the Fast Five from Rio… I thought I’d blog about relationships:)

…But this is how we do things in North America!

Sometimes I think Common has taken Sense out behind the barn and shot him.

Common to me are the everyday ridiculous lowest-common-denominator practitioners who think they’re absolutely right about relationships when none of the ideas they employ are actually accomplishing what they want them to. It doesn’t make Sense and I hate things that don’t make sense.

“But this is Brazil baby!” (Slightly ripping off Vin Diesel in the Fast Five). This is how we roll! You can’t arrest us here. The rules that apply in America don’t apply here baby! (I got some feedback that I did the worst Vin Diesel impression of all time in my message below. I listened to it and had to agree).

Who cares what the Bible says about relationships? We’re doing just fine figuring things out on our own! “I deny the existence of God! I deny that there is a better way than My Way!”

Oh man but we’re losing in the area of relationships…

My mom and dad have a great marriage. I love the advice that happily married people can give me, as opposed to the expert relationship advice from people with a long string of relational failures. I’m not so interested in their opinions.

This is now the NORM in Canada for relationships: ________. But let’s just amuse me for a moment and see if our relationships are actually healthy or not? I’m not saying I’m anything close to an expert about anything and that’s why I’d like to find out who’s doing what that’s working?

I was reading the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis the other day and noticed something unusual and it got me thinking about why he’d said what he did? His master’s sleazy wife was demanding that he sleep with her (the Bible’s full of weird stuff that sound like real life) and he said that he wouldn’t do it and “sin against God!” “…But this is Egypt baby! This is how we do it!!”

What does God have to do with that particular possible liaison? There were only (and are only) two players in every relationship. Or are there?

I discovered what Joseph knew about relationships and it blew my mind! God is the third party.

“Not in my marriage!”
Ok, how’s it working for you?

There’s no way to say it for you to agree with me and I’m not asking you to. I’m just putting something on the menu that maybe wasn’t there before. I deal with and see a lot of relationships. Honestly I see quite a few strained and broken relationships every one of which shares something in common: Self is on the throne (so to speak). Now it’s easy to say “Yeah HerSELF!” and that might be true. Or YourSELF. But SELF in general seems to be the problem.

Marriage is complicated enough without a very clear understanding that SELF torpedoes everything sooner or later. “But we have a song Pastor Corey!” (Let me pause and throw up in my mouth a little….)

Emotion and chemistry and feeling are amazing but can also cut both ways. You can marry with emotion and divorce with it. Not the most stable foundation for a very tricky building to build.

“How do I forgive someone when I know they’ll do the same thing next time?”
That’s a fair question and I’m super-alarmed by the thought that most people have not found the answer to this. The only other option that I can see is waiting around and hoping he never does that! Hoping beyond hope that you’re never asked to forgive something that is beyond you to forgive. It is not only a distinct possibility, I would suggest to you that even barring the “big one” (whatever indiscretion that is to you), the little ones will eventually pile up and land on you when you are unable to deal with it or forgive her.

To live with fear and never recognize or deal with it is not wise and rarely lends itself to longevity of sanity.

I’m going to just throw my hat in the ring now and get it over with…

My lovely wife doesn’t forgive me because she owes it to me or because I deserve it. She doesn’t see our relationship as only having two of us in it. There is a third party who is actually the first party and it’s God!

If Jesus has saved me and done something for me that I could never have accomplished even if I’d have wanted to (and I didn’t), maybe He should be involved in my relationships? Make no mistake about it, I owe Him a debt. A huge terrifying debt. His command to me? “Love the Lord your God and… love your neighbour…” “Forgive as you have been forgiven”…

That’s the secret! I’m not doing it as she deserves or as I’m able to, I’m doing it for Christ and the debt I owe Him! I’m also doing it in His strength and power. Every good thing I do for my wife, or in any relationship, I am actually doing it for Him.

Jesus at the centre. Thanks Joseph, you were right.

 

Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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