THE BOY WHO LOVED TO PET FISH

The boy who loved to pet fish is a story about a young boy whose parent’s bought him a fish tank with two goldfish (not the cheese flavored cracker) and told him the fish will not survive out of the water and “For this reason” these fish need to stay in the tank.  Every morning he got up and carefully sprinkled some food in the water, watching as the fish swam to the top of the tank and ate the floating flakes of fish food.  He loved staring at the colored rocks on the bottom of the tank.  When the fish came over to the glass, in his mind he could hear them say…Hold me. Pet me.  Hold me. Pet me.

Finally the call of these fish grew so strong; he grabbed the net and scooped out one of the fish and then the other.  He then proceeded to pet them until they fell asleep on the palm of his hand…  The end.

This happy little story has several “morals” to it but for our purpose here, there is only one.  If you want to build a thriving marriage… don’t start out petting.  No that’s not it!  Sorry, the 12 year old in me took over for a second.

The point is that when the relationship you have with someone becomes more about you and what you want than the relationship itself, you will eventually violate the rules of relationship and nothing good will happen.

Building a great partnership is hard but simple work.  I want to share one idea that comes from the Bible, or at least how I understand what the Bible says.  (Reading the other two posts on this subject will help make these words make more sense.) Here’s a recap.  God made stuff… said it was Good.  God made boy and girl critters… said it was good.  God made a boy person in His image… said the boy needs a partner, made girl person and said it was very good.  Every one was happy…  In the wording of the bible is says, “for this reason a man will leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh”

I’ve heard people teach on “leaving and joining” and I’ve heard teaching about “one flesh” but what I rarely hear taught about is those three words that launch the sentence.  “For this reason” What reason? The Partnership! God made them partners and then said… “For this reason” you need to adjust everything else about your life so far.  For the sake of partnership you need to adjust where you live, who you live with, how you express intimacy…   Here’s what my crazy brain sees…  “For this reason” means to make the relationship so important that everything else changes.

Great partnership in marriage only happens when both partners understand that “For this reason” means valuing the marriage/relationship/partnership (MRP) more than themselves.  Because I love my MRP more than me, I place its needs above my own.  “For this reason” I do everything I can to grow as a person of faith and character.   “For this reason” I do my part in being a partner.  “For this reason” I check with my partner daily to see what needs she has.  “For this reason” means to elevate the MRP above the rest of life and adjust everything to make it thrive.

By elevating the MRP above myself I ensure its healthiness.  I don’t take it into environments that kill it.  I put effort into studying my partner so I can make sure she thrives in this partnership.  By treating it well, I model for my kids how important a person their mother is and demonstrate the value God puts on a marriage.  When I live into the words “for this reason” and then act as though the partnership God created is of immeasurable value, our MRP thrives.  When I take the MRP out of the tank, just to satisfy myself, I remove it from an environment in which it thrives and place it in an environment that will eventually kill it.   That’s all for today.  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on August 30, 2010.

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