What's Real?

"The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
Galatians 6:8 (New International Version)

I heard an alarming statistic recently. Marriages in the Christian world are failing at a higher rate than those in the secular world. That is partly due to the fact that non-Christian couples tend not to seal their commitment with a marriage license. But with greater than fifty percent of all marriages ending in divorce, it is time to step back and take a look at what might be contributing to the destruction of this most sacred institution.

A woman living in 1908 was not bombarded by the false image of desirability that the media feeds us today. Girlfriends, we live in a dangerous, dangerous time. We are given the lie that what stares back at us out at the check out line at Kroger is our standard. Television is filled with story lines that are directly against Scripture. Our God is all about faithfulness. But the most tantalizing and "hip" shows are filled with lust, greed, and hatred. A solid marriage is not only rarely portrayed, but is scoffed at as though it cannot be a reality anymore. Those shows allow us the guilty pleasure of living in a fantasy world which mocks God's holiness. Husbands have left the wives of their youth for younger versions. And we just can't wait for the premiere show. Have we really forgotten that every action, thought, and motive is going to be weighed before an Almighty God one day?

A steady diet of "Desperate Housewives" will soon make us desperate, too. All of a sudden it isn't enough to have the love of a man that comes home to us, provides for us, and is a good daddy. We can easily focus on what he might not have--a buffed physique or a witty wickedness about him that somehow has surpassed those others qualities and has made their lack drive us to live in a dangerous world of comparison. Couple the television shows with the gossip magazines and it is no wonder that our thoughts soon become a cesspool of lustful thinking. We realize how long it has been since we have thought about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Philippians 4:8) We fantasize about our "dream" man. You know who our dream man is? The one that we vowed before God and our family and friends to love, honor, and cherish and to forsake all others for until death parted us. The other one is just a figment of our sinful imaginations. HE DOES NOT EXIST!

My beloved sisters, we have got to stop kidding ourselves and take a long hard look at what is being allowed to rule our thoughts. Is there a striving for holiness in our lives? Is there anything we say no to because we love Jesus and want to obey Him? Have we really kidded ourselves into thinking that we are not going to reap what we sow? There is a law of harvesting in Scripture. The one who sows a life of destruction will reap that same life. Sin is deceitful. It hardens us. And, most tragically of all, it renders us ineffective in our influence as salt and light to a world that is headed for a Christ-less eternity.

"I will set before my eyes
no vile thing.
The deeds of faithless men I hate;
they will not cling to me." Psalm 101:3 (NIV)

What we put in front of our eyes clings to us. It permeates our thoughts, our speech, and finally our actions. We can suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a situation that we never saw coming because of what we allow our vision to be filled with. Could we be women of righteousness that would be willing to make the same covenant with the Lord that David did above?

Jesus, rescue me! I am appalled that I do that which I hate to do so easily and do not do what I should do. Who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to [my] God--through Jesus Christ my Lord! (Romans 7:15, 24-25) In You is victory over my sin.