“It’s like a marriage.” She looked at me and said, “sometimes you just need to get away from each other.”
At the time I was neither married nor given in marriage and my prospects looked dim but somehow what she said sounded so wrong. For me, the idea of once getting a wife seemed so amazing that I thought I’d never let her out of my sight. Why would you willingly choose to spend time away from your hearts desire, the love of your life? It was akin to saying, “I just need some time away from my brain.” Now after 23 years of marriage, I think I’m right.
But, of course, she was talking about time away from God. Her attempt was to logically explain why sin is so important to the believers continued relationship with God. The idea being that as we take time away from God to do our own thing, to “live a little,” it makes the disciplines and rigors of Christianity more bearable, more attainable. It makes me shudder to think of what married life turned out to be for this person (she wasn’t married at the time either).
But we all fall into this mentality from time to time. If I just do this one sin, this one, “going my own way,” then I’ll feel better, calm down enough to stand for Jesus. “I just can’t take anymore of this temptation. If I give in this one time, that will get Satan and my flesh off my back and they won’t bother me anymore.”
I know you’ve never put it in those terms. I haven’t either but my actions reveal the truth.
But there was a nugget in what she said. Our relationship with Jesus is like a marriage. And just like a marriage we don’t need time away FROM our spouse, we need time away WITH our spouse. We need daily time to talk over what is happening, to plan for what is coming, to pay the bills and talk about the kids. We need time to tell them how beautiful they still are and how much we still care. They need to know that we would give up everything for them, lay down our lives for them. And we need to hear what they have to say, to know their heart, their mind, get reconnected.
Doesn’t happen by chance. Doesn’t happen easily or naturally for most of us. We have to make it happen. Want it bad enough that we make it happen. Everyday.