Friday, January 06, 2012

Laws and Principles

I just finished The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller.  I highly recommend this book for both married and singles.  Keller talks about how many enter marriage today with hopes of staying independent while still reaping the benefits of marriage domestically, financially, socially, and sexually.  After a few months or rather weeks, couples find that the other person is just as selfish as they are.  

Keller basis the book on Ephesians 5, you know the line, "wives submit to your husbands."  He talks what this really looks like if the husband is loving and making choices to serve the wife.  And the picture of marriage isn't what you get out of it, but what you give and serve.  

This means I do the dish even if it is my husband's turn.  I make daily choices to serve my husband and think what would make him happy.  I say I'm sorry more often than I have been.  

Keller also quotes Jane Eyre and this struck a cord with me concerning discipline.

I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man.  I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad-- as I am now.  Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be.  If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?  They have a worth--so I have believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane--quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs.  Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot."  
I did.
I love this.  Mr. Rochester has just asked Jane to move in and be his mistress.  Jane is conflicted, she would love to say yes.  No one would blame her if she did after such a life of hardship.  And he loves her and all you need is love, right?  But she says to herself, "when life was easy and I wasn't faced with a difficult decision, I knew what was right and wrong.  Even though my heart wants to say yes and it would feel good, I know that it is wrong.  I will not trust what feels right, but go with what I know is right.  I stand my ground."

This is why I want to be disciplined because when it becomes routine and rhythm, it will just be part of who I am.  Whether that is God's Word or prayer or running.  

I have heard and used the excuse that doing something everyday is too legalistic.  Where is the freedom?  

The freedom is in God's grace.

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