The U.S. Geologic Survey has a wonderful section on faults. They talk about slips and dips and the seismic curvature of the earth–at least I think that’s what they were talking about. You know how you read something three times, and it doesn’t make any more sense than the first. No head for geologics.
I do know people though. I don’t know people because I have a degree in Psychology. Like the mechanic, I went after the certification because I knew something about the subject. Naturally. I just always studied people.
Y’all are fascinating. I can look on y’alls facing most of the time and tell what you’re up to, at least I think I can. Don’t we? We love making out what people are about without ever asking them a thing.
That’s the thing about faults. We look at a mountain or the earth, and we think of it as one solid block. Solid as rock, right? But it’s not that way. The earth has what are called tectonic plates. I guess that’s how you wrap a solid surface around a circular plane. It’s easier to break it up. But they tell me the earth was one at one time. One earth and the water. You could walk from one end to the other.
Then we broke up. Water got between. Plates shifted. Continents formed. And there were different peoples where there used to be one. Different languages, different customs, different tribes. One mother. One father. One God. Even now, our DNA is almost the same no matter how far apart we’re born. But God asks us to become one in marriage.
Today’s message is on the faults, the little cracks that separate us, that make one side rise up against the other. They say, the Geologic people that is, that the pressure builds up over time. That’s how you get an earthquake. One plate rubbing up against another and all the time this pressure building up.
One man. One woman. One plate rubbing against another. She likes to communicate. He likes to be silent. She wants to know about his day, share it with him. He just got in from outside and needs a little space, a little time to adjust. Friction. I haven’t even gotten into the personality differences that drive us crazy.
You remember yesterday we were talking about the love of Christ, how he loves the church. And we agreed that the way a man loves his body, pays attention to it, showers it, feeds it, makes sure it is comfortable, wants to spend time just resting it, being comfortable in his flesh; we agreed that if a man would give that same focus to his wife–feed her ego, tell her how pretty she is because of the hunger she builds in him just to partake of the prettiness that drives his soul, makes him want to touch her, look at, just run his fingers gently across her face, that kind of telling your wife she’s pretty, where it just overwhelms your soul, showering her with gifts because every time you see something you know she likes you’ll pay anything, do anything to get that in her hands to see the smile on her face; resting her, letting her be deprived of her burdens. Honey, let me get that. Here, let me dry the dishes. I get to stand next to you AND help you rest from your soul’s worries. I get to be your delight for a moment. Was there anybody here who disagreed that God’s design for a man to love a woman was…at least desirable. Can I get a hand? Oh, a lot of hands.
Same thing for the man. I won’t go into that much detail, but suffice it to say that a woman feeling, and I mean feeling like people feel when they’re shouting and twirling and jewelry flying off–see some of y’all don’t know what it’s like to be caught up in worshipping the Lord like that, for the Holy Spirit to just grab you and shake you in God’s goodness like Grandma used to grab a chicken leg and shake it in her favorite recipe, just God’s goodness and holiness shaking your soul. Oh, you’ll find out if you stay in this church long enough. But, we agreed that that type of worshipful respect and adoration rising in a woman when she sees her heart’s delight, her satisfier, her pleasure maker in her husband’s face; we agreed that was something to be desired too, right? Course we did.
Now, I want to address the things that keep us from treating each other that way, the faults each of us have that grate on one another and cause us to say in our hearts: you ain’t all that. You ain’t nothing sometimes. Oh, that’s real.
These separations between us that keep us from becoming one, that raise the pressure, that cause the earthquake of separation and divorce, and keep us from becoming one solid husband and wife. Forever linked. Inseparable to the eye.
How do we get rid of the faults? Sister Florence here is still back at that attention shower. Did that sound good to you, sister? I’m going to tell you something that’s easy to say, short to hear, and takes a lifetime to work out.
You can’t. It’s impossible.
You can’t love someone like that without dying to yourself. You hear me? You would have to say in your heart, enforce every day like a Christian picking up their cross, I’m going to live for this person, to help them smooth out their faults. I’m going to cheer every time I see God make a change in them that makes them more lovable.
There’s a loan some banks make when you’re renewing, rebuilding your credit. They give you a loan, put it away for you, and you start paying on it. You don’t get the money, but you build up a track record of paying for that loan, and after you’ve paid it all, you get the money. I know, I know, it’s your money. You put it in there. But remember, you’re rebuilding your credit.
I’m asking you, sir, madam, fiance’, husband, wife, to pay in advance. I’m asking you to start treating your wife or husband–not fiance, because like I’ve told you many times, the biggest trap before getting married is acting like you already are–as if they have no faults. The only way you can do that is to recognize, and you and God in prayer go after and attack, every fault they have–but look at this–as if it’s yours.
Take their faults, every one of them, and trust them to take yours. I mean you count their temper, their insignificance in the world, their laziness in your eyes, their insensitivity, and you pray against it like it’s attacking you because it is.
Die for your spouse. Die for each other. Live every day to see them become the best person they can be, and trust and pray they do the same. Treat them, love them, honor them, respect them like they are without fault. The day you get married, the instant you say, “I do,” forgive them for every fault and failure and make up in your mind because they said, “I do,” to you, you are going to pray them into the purpose God has for them, into the best version they can be with the help of God and the Holy Spirit living inside of each of you. You count it done. You hear me? And you’ll begin to know how Christ loves you, what he did for you, if you do the same for your spouse.
Die, husband. Die for him, wife. Live to pray each other into the best husband, the best father, the best worker, employee, owner, entrepreneur, singer, gardener, or whatever else God has laid on their heart. Can you do that? Not alone. But if you truly get the verse that says, “with God all things are possible,” you can make this marriage thing something others will cherish. And Sister Florence can have that smile all day long. Amen?