A senior officer in the navy was informed by his Commanding Officer that he was to be promoted to the position of Captain of one of the navy’s submarines. In this new position he would be responsible for overseeing the proper functioning of all the complex systems necessary for ensuring that the submarine was sea-worthy and in combat-readiness mode at every moment. At the end of his briefing for the new post he was informed by the Commanding Officer that the submarine which would now be under his care was worth two billion dollars.
This was mind-blowing for the senior officer as he began to think about the implications of being entrusted with such a costly piece of equipment. Two billion?! He wondered whether he was up to the task. He knew that if he took on this job his life would never be the same again: his connection and commitment to his work would have to become stronger and there could be no room for negligence or carelessness. There was no way he could let equipment worth two million dollars go wrong because he had failed to do what was required.
It was clear that the level of responsibility that would be required would be commensurate with the value of the equipment – which was very high! Over time, he became proud of his job and, during the rare moments of social interaction that his work allowed, he never failed to let his listeners know that his job involved caring for a submarine worth two billion dollars!
Now, think about this for a moment: what is the value of your wife or your husband? What is the value of this person for whom you have been given responsibility, who has been entrusted to you by God? A thousand dollars? Or a million or a billion or even two billion dollars? Or is he or she worth more than the submarine in our story? How much is your spouse worth? The answer is this: your wife or husband is beyond all price, beyond all value. In all truth, she or he is of infinite value – which means that your wife or husband is worth much, much more than the $2bn submarine!
Our Lord Jesus gave us a very good idea of the value of a person vis-a-vis the wealth of the whole world when he said: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)
This truth leads us to the following conclusions…
- Marriage is a big job! Consider the great respect God has shown you. In entrusting you with a person of such high value, God is saying, “I respect you and I want you to rise up to the challenge of this very ‘high profile job’ called marriage”. God would also say to you, “When you feel inadequate and out of your depth, I will be near to help and assist you to do this work that I have entrusted to you.”
- Deepen your commitment. Step up in connection and commitment to each other. Knowing the value of what we have, let’s re-order our priorities to reflect this new evaluation! Spending more time with each other rather than watching TV or playing internet games now makes a lot more sense. It is not possible to spend too much on each other! Be very thoughtful of each other and let your commitment to each other influence your choices.
- Do not neglect each other. We do not treat high profile jobs lightly or carelessly. In the same way, we should not treat our wife or husband lightly or carelessly. Respect each other very highly. Do not speak carelessly about each other, but rather let your spouse know that you understand the ‘weight’ of what you have in him or her. Keep reminding yourself of the very great value of your spouse to you. Let your wife know that you feel good about her and let your husband know that you feel good about him. In fact, you should let your spouse know that you are proud of him or her. Speak well and very highly of your spouse to others – especially to your extended family. Your family’s expectations of your spouse can be daunting or even intimidating for your spouse and your good words about your spouse will help to ‘recalibrate’ things in the wider family – for the good of your marriage!
Finally, do not short change yourself. Think again before you try to exchange your wife or husband for anything else. Guard, protect and enjoy this gift of infinite value and give thanks to God for such a trust!
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