Posts Tagged ‘marriage’


November 22, 2009 Leave a comment

For a long time now I have loved the first 14 verses of Ezekiel 16, where God opens his journal and reads the graphic, love-soaked words to his beloved bride, Israel. Detailing his faithful love from her birth, through adolescence, and into womanhood, God tugs on the heartstrings of anyone who has ever held a child, invested in a teenager, or loved a spouse. Powerful. Intimate. Beautiful.

Hideous. A sudden shift occurs in verse 15. In spite of God’s devoted commitment to the marriage, his bride has left him broken hearted. Jealous, angry, and hurt, God reveals his disgust with her adulterous ways. He unloads: “You’re nothing but a prostitute. No, I take that back. You’re worse than a prostitute. A prostitute gets paid to sleep with strangers. You, on the other hand…you do it for free. Even worse, you’re the one paying for the sleazy service.” A little later in the one-sided conversation, God continues: “You’re as bad as Sodom. No, you’re worse than Sodom. As a matter of fact, you are so much worse that you make Sodom look good.” Heart wrenching. Pitiful. Disgusting.

Amazing. Another sharp break comes in verse 60. In spite of Israel’s rebellious ways, God vows his continued faithfulness to the marriage. God won’t let go. He can’t give her up. He renews the vows that she broke, pledging to establish an everlasting covenant with his wayward bride, atone for her heinous crimes, and someway, somehow rediscover the close relationship that has been lost.

Just in case you’re wondering, this story is not unique. It’s my story. It’s your story. It’s humanity’s story. Praise God for his amazing grace!



November 21, 2009 2 comments

Curious as to the identity of this silhouetted man? Maybe a few vague, suspense-building clues will help. He’s a guy (hence the personal pronoun at the beginning of this sentence and the word “man” in the first sentence). We met when we were in elementary school, although we went to different schools in different states together. He was my suite mate in college for ONE year, during which time he became convinced to propose to his girlfriend, start planning a wedding, and never step foot in Benson dormitory again. (Coincidence? I think not.) He was a groomsman in my wedding. He’s a coworker of mine and one of my closest friends. And one thing I should mention about the silhouette to avoid any confusion: the dip on the crown is not a wave in his hair; it’s apparently a dent in his head that I hadn’t noticed before.

How about a drum roll? Okay, nevermind. I’ll just tell you. Justin Gerhardt is the person of the week. And here’s why:

  1. Justin is super TALENTED. Among other things, he’s a great thinker and a brilliant writer, as you’ll see by taking a look at his blog. He’s also a gifted communicator who’s effective when speaking to an audience of 800, teaching a class of 30, or counseling 1. He has a way of connecting with people, and in turn, connecting these people to Jesus.
  2. Justin is also a great FRIEND. When you need someone to listen, he’ll listen. When you need someone to make you laugh, he’ll say something ridiculous. If you still need a laugh, he’ll say something even more ridiculous. If you’re tired of laughing…well, you get the idea. When you need someone to tell you you’re an idiot, he’ll get the message across and somehow leave you feeling pretty good about yourself. When you need someone to critique a sermon or paper or plan or whatever, he’ll share insightful suggestions that greatly improve the final product. When you need someone to sympathize with you, he’ll tell you he’s sorry and mean it. He’s just an all-round great friend.
  3. Justin and Jen have a MARRIAGE that’s the envy of many (envy in a good, I-want-to-make-my-marriage-better kind of way). If you were to ask Justin what he loves about Jen, I’d guess that somewhere on his long list would be the way Jen admires and supports him. And if you were to ask Jen what she loves about Justin, I’d guess one of the many things she would say is that Justin is thoughtful and affectionate. From the outside looking in, they seem to have the Ephesians 5 thing pretty much down to an art.

Well, there you have it. Now the only thing left for me to do is collect my $50 from Justin for including this excerpt from his autobiography in my blog. Just kidding.

He actually owes me $75.