Jesus… “…and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor…”
As I’ve been in our Counselor’s intensive “marriage counseling” program for 5 and 1/2 years now, I have learned a great deal about how to love one man well, how to be thrilled with submission, and how to live in peace with another human (I’m not saying that I do all of this yet; I’ve just learned a lot about it. That’s why I signed up for the course that lasts as long as we both shall live…)
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned is that marriage is all about making peace: dying to myself, loving and honoring another human. Contrary to popular belief, marriage is not about making war. Sadly, most of us enter marriage better equipped for a raging war than for a peaceful union. We come with our defense mechanisms firmly in place, poised for the first face-off. Before we know it, we’ve either slain our spouse or run off to a shelter in sheer terror. Thankfully, Jesus intentionally dismantles our defenses as we allow Him to restore our marriages. Consider Psalm 46: 9…
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
In this verse, I see our two most common defense mechanisms: the sword (always offensive, even when used in defense; sharp, aggressive, wounding) and the chariot (run away! run away! run away, fast!). Interestingly, in most marriages, one spouse is skilled with the sword; the other is ready to zoom away in that chariot if things get too tough (chariot, here). Working together, these defense mechanisms can distance two people so quickly and efficiently that divorce terminates the union before it has had a chance to begin.
In order to preserve our marriages and make peace in our homes, we must allow Jesus to transform our previously-constructed defense mechanisms: we must obey when He says, “put away your sword, trust me to defend you” and “return home, little chariot. Be patient and long-suffering”.
Of course, this can only be done when we spend time with Jesus and obey His word, for it is He who will “judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2: 4
As we all long for global wars to cease, I hope we also consider how we may follow Jesus out of the wars within our own homes and into peaceful families.
O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. Isaiah 2: 5