I read quite a few blogs and articles on marriage. I’m always intrigued by titles. Then one came across my screen…
Clicking on the link will introduce a small story about a poorly approached attempt to circumvent getting out of a wedding. When I think I’ve heard it all, moments like these happen.
…Then my mind began to wander. Thoughts began to form. I then realized how often this happens.
People fake death all the time. Let me explain…
When we get married, we’re bringing our family, our personal history (good and bad), and our present circumstances together with our spouse along with their family, background, etc. Part of our getting married is navigating through all of that and learning to come together as a couple. The other part is learning to die.
You read that right.
Death is a part of marriage. Now most people think of death as the end of their physical life. But the moment you take those vows, you are making a covenant with your spouse that his/her needs will be lifted up above your own. When you put that ring on your finger, you pledged your love and identity to be with no one else but your groom/bride. The wedding is a place of death. It’s a funeral of self. Two people die and one is born.
So the question comes: What does it mean to “Fake Your Death”?
It’s when you decide that you’ll give the image of being married. You’ll wear the ring. You’ll play the part. But in reality, you’re living for yourself. You fake the “image” that your marriage is of the utmost priority. But it’s all about you. The “death” is a lie. The marriage centers around your own desires without a single thought of your spouse. As I’ve stated in so many blogs, selfishness is cancerous. It’s the quickest way to fake one death (death to self) that will, ultimately, lead to another (death of your marriage).
Death to self in marriage, like with a relationship with Christ, is a daily decision. Over the past 16 years of marriage to Anne has proved to me that every day I have a choice: Am I going to die to self or am I going to fake my death and live for me? It’s the choice that so many marriages are struggling with. How do I know that? Because every day I struggle wanted to live for me. I want to do what I want. I want my needs met.
This is where I look at the example of Christ.
John 13:3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
In his most vulnerable moment of his life, Jesus laid aside everything. He knew that there was very little time before he’d be taken away. He was underneath an immense weight of pressure and stress. He could have made everything about His needs that night.
But he laid aside His outer garments and put on the garments of a servant. He served he closest friends when He was the one in need. What an amazing example of laying aside “self” in order to bless/serve/honor someone else. What an amazing precursor to what would be displayed on the cross.
Imagine if we stopped faking “death to self” and we lived without selfishness.
Imagine two people married, decide to completely die to “self” and lived to serve Christ and one another.
Imagine if during our most vulnerable moments, we still decided “it’s not about me.”
Imagine having a marriage where no one waited for the other to step out and serve. It naturally happens because that’s who you are.
I don’t know who you are or the state of your marriage, but its time to stop faking that you’ve died to the old life of self. It’s time to lay aside who you were and who you’ve been. It’s time to cast off selfishness and love your spouse the way Christ loves you.
Today, it’s time for self to die so that your identity with your spouse can live.
Thanks for letting me ramble…