A marriage thought came off of a quote I came across.
Oswald Chambers says, “Some of us are like the Dead Sea,always taking in,never giving out,because we’re not rightly related to the Lord Jesus.”
My thought: We have the capability to turn our marriages into the Dead Sea. How does that happen?
Bear with me a bit. With some help from “How Stuff Works,” we’ll benefit from understanding why the Dead Sea is “dead” and “dying.” I’ve highlighted some things that will guide us away from giving our marriages the “Kiss of Death.”
The Dead Sea is different from all other bodies of water on Earth because it’s incredibly salty, with a saline level between 28% and 35%. (By comparison, the world’s saltiest oceans are only 3% to 6%.) The Dead Sea owes its high salt content to several factors. First, it’s completely landlocked, so any fresh or saltwater that flows into it from the Jordan River and other tributaries is trapped — until it evaporates. Evaporation happens quickly because that portion of the world is, to put it mildly, extremely hot. When the water evaporates, the salty minerals are left behind, causing the remaining water to become more and more concentrated with salt.
Any living creature or plant (even seaweed) that dares enter these saline-charged waters dies pretty much instantly. Only simple organisms like microbes can survive the harsh conditions. The Dead Sea is simply too salty for anything else to exist.
Unfortunately for the Dead Sea, it may be on track to disappear by the year 2050. It’s attributed to fact that less water is being brought in via the Jordan River and other tributaries.
James 3:16-17, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
If we look at selfishness in marriage as the salt minerals in the dead sea, we can see that the presence of it will give our marriages the same effect: Death.
Here’s what I take from our little Dead Sea study:
1. Selfishness in marriage in marriage is “incredibly salty.“ In keeping with our metaphor, salt/selfishness is not refreshing. Think of it this way: Someone going through dehydration is worse off drinking salt water because of what it does to your vital organs. Without fresh water, the vitals shut down. You need the “fresh water” of humility and selflessness to bring life into your marriage. Look at it as humility giving your parched marriage a drink.
2. Marriages built on selfishness are “completely landlocked.” The idea of being landlocked means there’s no room for growth. Selfishness makes sense in the moment. I fight for what I want to get where I want to go. There’s a problem. In that statement alone, the word “I” was used three times. In a marriage, the “two become one.” You can’t afford to be selfish. It will land-lock your marriage and prevent the “oneness” of your marriage from growing any further.
3. Selfishness creates extreme “evaporation.” I’ve heard too many couples say that words, “how did we get here.” Too many years of selfishness have evaporated the life of the marriage and have left it in ruin. Selfishness in your finances, time, and energy will decimate your structure. Selfishness with your body, emotions, and works will decimate your passion. Bringing your marriage to this point will make them out to be a shell of what they once were. Ask yourself the question: Is there an area that has become a shell of the past? Identify it and pour humility and love back into it.
4. Selfishness in marriage creates in atmosphere that is “simply too ‘salty’ for anything else to exist.” Simply said: this is the feeling of hopelessness. No one wants to try anything new. No one wants to attempt anything new. Why? “It’ll go back to the way it was.” Don’t give up the fight!!!! Don’t throw in the towel. Keep fostering love. Keep fostering selflessness. If it’s you who is being selfish, you are telling your spouse that any life they bring will cease to exist.
5. Selfish marriages are heading for martial death because “less water (life) is being brought in.” There are so many marriages that operate separate from Christ. I think of it like operating my TV separate from the power source. It looks nice in my home. But without a power source, it’s nothing more than a large paper weight. You can keep going the way that you are, but without Christ as the source of joy, peace, and strength, you’re asking for marriage with little to no “water being brought in.” Selfish marriages that have freshness are on a difficult path. I’m not saying that Christ takes care of difficulties in marriage. I’ve been marriage almost 15 years and still deal with difficulties. But keeping a Christ centered marriage prepares me for the journey as well as supplies me for the path ahead.
Take some moments today. Ask the Lord to reveal “salty” areas that are stealing life from your marriage. If you discover areas, it’s time to reconstitute marriage with love, humility, and servanthood. Don’t let selfishness give your marriage the “kiss of death.”
Thanks for letting me ramble…