The thermostat & marriage

In premarital counseling, there is one question they never ask that they should ask right away:

Are you hot-natured or cold-natured?

Cold-natured people should marry cold-natured people. And hot-natured people should marry hot-natured people. And there’d be a whole lot less of a need for marriage counseling. 🙂

As you might have guessed, Ben and I speak different temperature languages. He’s hot-natured. I’m cold-natured.

In the winter time, I like to crank the heat up to 80. In the summer time, I set the thermostat at 80. 80 is a good temperature for me. And it really is true, I would turn my mother’s gas fireplace on in July when we’re over at her house IF anybody would let me. 🙂

One of the ways I knew Ben was really serious about me was when we were on our way back home from a trip to New York in November. His dad was driving the car and the temperature was pretty cool. By the time we got to Ben’s car—some four hours later–I was miserably chilly. On top of this, we stepped out into the freezing Pennsylvanian air of late November and I was ready for a sauna.

Ben, clearly delusionally in love with me, cranked up the heat in his car to an outrageous high. He hates to see me shivering. So the car was like the Gobi Desert in the middle of a winter wonderland. The heat stampeded over any cold left in the car. I sat half-asleep from blissful heat stroke while he somehow drove us back to his parent’s house where I was staying. Fortunately he didn’t conk out from heat. But he was mighty glad to get out of the car by the time we arrived.

By now you might have figured out: Ben and I knew before we were married that we were from different climates. And we still got married. Love is funny that way.

God said through Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4,

Love is patient and kind.

I don’t think this verse is only about the big things in life. I think it’s about the little things, too, like what temperature the thermostat is set at.

Love is patient and kind in our house when Ben sleeps without the fan at night.

Love is patient and kind in our house if I turn the air down just for him.

I think some of the deepest bonding in marriage is done when one person gives up a little for another.

(Even if it means feeling a few degrees too warm or too cold.)

The Three Excuses: Excuse #3

I recently got married, and that’s why I can’t come. (from Luke 14:20)

This person is so overcome with relationships that he loses out on God’s kingdom.

Do I recognize this person in myself?

It’s hard to believe that the very relationships God gives us with parents, spouses, children, friends, etc., can be the very relationships Satan can use to destroy us.  Satan can keep us so involved with our families and friends that we don’t have time for God.

All my relationships must be under the authority of Jesus, and less important to me than Him.  This is not because God is egotistical, but because everyone and everything good does revolve around Him!  If we leave God out, or if we try to rank Him as less important than earthly relationships, we will completely fail not only towards God, but also in the very relationships we are trying so hard to value.  No one can take the place of Jesus in our lives, and only bitter disappointment is on the horizon of such expectation.

The scary reality: the man in this parable is being called to forget his relationships to come into the presence of the king—and he chooses his stuff.  But his life is taken from him as a consequence for his refusal to come.  In the end, he loses everything, his family & friends and, far worse, his eternity.

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.  (Matthew 10:37-39, NIV)


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