Marriage: A Tool for the Depraved?

Ed Cash sings a song called "Where Were You?". Listening to this song is like taking a walk through a field of green grass and perfect petaled daisies. It is like holding a newborn baby as it falls asleep in your arms. It is the kind of song that could lull you into a sleep that will give you a money back guarantee for peaceful dreams. When Ed wrote this song, he took a page out of the book of Job. After Job and his friends spend the first 37 chapters of the book complaining, doubting, and whining, God finally speaks. And He begins to ask Job questions similar to the questions in Ed's lyrics. "Where were you when I . . . "

Now, I don't know Mr. Cash all that well nor do I know anything about his faith, but I suspect that he may have missed the boat on this one. There are certainly times when God speaks to us in that "daisy in the field" sort of a way. There are times when he is the one lulling us to sleep. And I do believe that in many ways, He wants nothing more than to scoop us up like a precious newborn baby and give us rest. There are parts of Him that are gentle and soft.

But, I do believe that when He asks questions that begin with "where were you when I . . . ", the Big Guy is NOT feeling very nurturing! I think that if we are going to set this part of God's Word to music, that a tune like Guns N' Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" or something by Marilyn Manson might be a bit more accurate. Because by the time God is saying, "where were you", the Man is hacked off with us! He has tried to help us understand and we are NOT getting it.

It took God 37 chapters to open his mouth. And when He did, He said what is one of my all time, "No he did NOT just say that!" lines. God engages Job by saying, "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? BRACE YOURELF LIKE A MAN; I WILL QUESTION YOU, AND YOU SHALL ANSWER ME." It is at this point that he begins to ask the questions that fair Ed sings about. And I am gonna tell you somethin' - I think that our God was pissed off!

When we find ourselves in these kinds of encounters with God, I believe He engages us in ways a bit different than long walks in daisy-strewn fields. When He really wants us to listen and to change, he sometimes takes measures that are a little different than what we would imagine the doe-eyed Sunday school Jesus would do. I would go so far as to suggest that He uses tactics such as, but not limited to, marriage.

Let me back up here before I go much further. When I was in college, I heard a lot of people explain singleness as an indicator that God was not yet pleased with your life as a Christian. The idea that "once you have achieved a certain rank on the spirituality scale you will get your man (or woman)" was flung about like a pair of day old panties. Carelessly and effortlessly.

I once subscribed to this idea. I believed that good gifts are correlated with our good deeds. I have since changed my tune on the subject (and on God's grace as a whole). It would seem possible that marriage is actually something given to those of us who are somehow MORE depraved than all the rest! Now, I realize this actually is not theologically sound, but there is something there that makes sense to me. Marriage is not a prize given to the kids with the most stars on their scripture memorization chart. Instead, I believe that, while it IS A VERY GOOD GIFT, it might also be one way that God exposes the very ugliest parts of us for the purpose of our redemption and sanctification.

After just three months of marriage, the bowels of my sin seem to have been brought to the surface. When you find yourself giving your cute new husband not just one, but count 'em, TWO middle fingers because he does not like the new bamboo tray on the coffee table, you realize you are off base. At this point, you have to wonder, "Am I, perhaps just a little jacked up?" This is the kind of stuff that desperately needs to be changed in us; and when God's sweet lullabies don't make their point . . . well, there is always the commitment of living with the same person for the rest of your natural life to do the trick!


Blogger the hamster said...

cara, guns-n-roses did "welcome to the jungle" on their first album back in 1989 - and it still kicks ass.

metallica did "creeping death," a song about the angel of death creeping through pharoah's land "killing first born man." and, you are right, it is fitting tunage for old testament storytelling.

just thought you should know. i got your back on the metal edge.

6:14 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger the hamster said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:26 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger the hamster said...

not to beat a dead horse, but i was so excited to find these this morning that i had to share them with you. just copy and paste and enjoy as a mid-morning rock snack. peace out.



oh, and i was drastically incorrect: APPETITE was released in 1987. i lost my g-n-r virginity to it in '89. that's where the confusion came in. sorry.

7:30 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger hurricanic said...

Did you really just connect some of the teaching of our dear CCF with day old crusty underwear?!? You rock, charjer. Fairly accurate here, I'd say.

7:21 AM, February 03, 2006  

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