I’m fully aware that my books may not seem as practical as other marriage books, or that that this blog doesn’t always dish out the very helpful “how-to” tips that so many other blogs focus on. It makes me a bit insecure at times; I could sound lost in the clouds to many people, like an out-of-touch religious idealist.
But here’s why I persist—Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:23 captivate me: “You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Peter would never “get” Jesus until he got what drove Jesus—His complete abandonment to His Heavenly Father’s divine plan. Until he got that, Peter would try to “fix” something that didn’t need fixing, or to prevent something that needed to happen. (How many times did I make this mistake when raising my kids? Probably more times than I could count.)
When our minds are set on human things instead of divine things, we fight about things that don’t matter. As we parent, we focus on things that don’t ultimately matter. And that means we ignore things that do matter.
If you succeed at things that don’t matter you’ve still ultimately failed. Why would I want a couple to have a more “pleasant journey” when they’re traveling to the wrong place? If you’re in a first class seat to wrong, you still end up misled and wasting your life.
I’d rather help you ride economy to right.
Perhaps you could spend just a few minutes today wondering if an ongoing issue in your marriage or family could be “solved”—or at least transformed—by putting your mind on divine things instead of earthly things.
Some of you may have friends or family members who ask you, “Why do you put up with this?” Others may dish out advice that makes sense in an earthly sense, but you are convinced it would displease your heavenly Father.
Don’t listen to them; listen to Jesus. Like Jesus, be utterly abandoned to walking in the obedience that brings God glory and brings you many heavenly rewards.
So, as for this blog, I’ll keep talking about worship and marriage; the impact of eternity on today; seeking heavenly love instead of idolizing romantic sentimentalism. Thank God for solid “earthly advice,” but whenever I put earthly things—even good earthly things—above heavenly things, I, like Peter, become a stumbling block to my spouse, to my kids, to you. And there are plenty of places you can get loads of “how to” information from people vastly smarter and better trained/educated than me.
So, if I seem obsessed about heavenly things, that’s why.
Thanks for continuing to listen, and read.
P.S. Lisa and I will be away from wifi for about a week, so while I’ll read the comments to this post when we get back, you probably won’t see me interacting with them in the near future.