October 11, 2017

Manna for Your Marriage: Part 2

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.” Proverbs 26:15 (NIV)

I grew up hearing, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”  It’s true of human nature too.  Twice, in Proverbs, the Bible speaks about a person at the table with food in front of him, but he won’t eat!  Why?  Is he sick?  Is he just not hungry?  Does he not like the meal?  No.  “He is too lazy!”  It’s really a funny word picture if you think about it:

“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.”  Prov. 26:15 (NIV)

I wondered what they said at his funeral?  Maybe that verse was his epitaph!  Or “Here lies wasted opportunity.”  Or “What happens when you don’t take action.” Or “YOLO!”

When God provided Manna in the wilderness for Israel, they were given an intentional plan for daily actions to get it.  No one needed to go hungry.  They didn’t even have to store it up.  It was offered fresh every morning!

“These are the LORD’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person in your tent.” Exodus 16:16 (NLT) 

“After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared.” Exodus 16:21 (NLT)

If we want fresh bread for starving relationships, we need an intentional daily plan followed by intentional daily actions!  God provides us with the Bread of Life!  Jesus can revive stale relationships, but we must take action by turning to Him daily. Jesus came not only to save us from our sins but to sustain us with abundant life!  Don’t be like the sluggard who buries his hand in the dish when God offers you a delicious full course meal.  A daily plan is worthless until you take action.  The Bible spells out the loving actions every marriage needs to stay fresh:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.   Love never fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Aren’t you hungry for a love like that?  The only way to experience that kind of love is in Christ.  How?  Begin in your own heart.  Ask God to fill you with His love so you can do those loving actions that will revive your stale relationship.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve tried that, but they didn’t respond.”  What do you do?  Don’t quit!  Believe that God will come through.  Trust Him while you wait.  He promises us this: 

“Throw your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NIV)