One evening last week as I returned home from my local Starbucks where I was working on finalizing a lot of Eusebeia details, I put my key in the door lock, turned the key, and opened the door to a mess. Heavy winter and light Fall jackets were dumped on the mudroom floor. Dozens of caps were haphazardly strewn here and there. It took me a few more seconds to figure out what happened.
Two years ago when we purchased this house we did a significant rehab in upgrading this 1940 house into the place that we would call home. One of the biggest upgrades happened in the mudroom where we ripped out the two old wood-paneled closets, the worn flooring, and the dated electrical wiring. When replacing the closets, our contractor put in a new white wired shelving system that included an aluminum rod for hanging coats and a wire shelf sitting a little above the rod. The new closet with its freshly painted 6-panel sliders and shelving system looked great--a fitting exterior entrance into this part of the house. That is until last week.
As I discovered, my entire shelving system had collapsed taking with it everything that was hanging and sitting on it. Upon closer examination of the damage, I saw that the 2-inch #14 screws had all been pulled from the wall. After two years, without warning, the screws had pulled from the drywall. I previously thought for sure this shelving system had been screwed into wood studs. What credible contractor is going to attach a weight-bearing shelf to just drywall--not even including drywall anchors? Well, that's exactly what mine apparently did. I'm still trying to settle this issue with the original contractor.
Shelve that Frustration
Here in the middle of a frantically stressful work season and mere weeks away from Eusebeia LIVE, here is something else I have to think about. And, on top of it, we had company coming to spend the weekend with us. Perfect. Just perfect.
In the midst of my frustration with my contractor, I came to a stark realization. This collapsed shelf is a perfect illustration for the struggle that I and others face in marriage.
The issue is not the shelf. The issue is the anchors.
The issue is not your marriage or your spouse. The issue is what anchors you and your marriage.
Shelves can only handle the amount of weight that the anchors will support.
Marriage can only handle the amount of weight that the anchor supports.
So many of our Christian marriages point to communication, money, parenting, and intimacy as the problems that keep our marriage from thriving. But, the real problem in the marriage is that it isn't correctly anchored. So, it's just a matter of time before things come crashing down.
Other well-intended Christians are praying for God to bless their marriage with the abundance that scripture promises. But, God won't do that because He knows your marriage would collapse under the weight of the responsibility because it isn't well anchored.
The question then is what truly anchors Christian marriage and how deeply are those anchors grounded?
I'm increasingly understanding the anchor is "my ability to trust God's voice as directed through the Holy Spirit more than I trust myself". See these two trusts are inversely related. The more you trust God's voice the less you trust yourself. There is no wiggle room here. Every time you choose to trust God's voice rather than your own, you drive that spiritual anchor deeper in your soul. Every time you choose to trust yourself, you loosen that spiritual anchor.
Of course, we Christians say that we trust God more. But, our behaviors prove it's a lie. If we couples truly trusted God more than ourselves, our homes would be shining examples of humility and grace. We would be paragons of generosity to those in spiritual and financial need. Our marriages would be exemplars that others wish to emulate. Instead, we step timidly from one situation to the next hoping that everything doesn't get worse.
It is not easy to to displace trust in ourselves with trust in God. It takes good teaching. It takes consistent accountability. And, it takes practice to keep choosing the Spirit over the flesh.
If you can see how this illustration of the shelf and anchors applies in your own marriage, I strongly encourage you to join us at the Eusebeia LIVE Weekend experience in just three weeks, October 13-16th at the BWI Airport Marriott in Baltimore, MD. Rather than a traditional marriage conference, we are inviting you for an experience designed to deepen the spiritual anchors of your soul and marriage based on our featured scripture, Philippians 2:13, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."
If you are tired of seeing things fall apart in your marriage or you know in your Spirit that there is way more to your marriage than you're living out, then this 6th annual Eusebeia LIVE Weekend experience is the answer to your prayers. You've been asking God for help. Here is God's offering to your marriage.
Here is a glimpse of the ways in which your anchors will be deepened at the Eusebeia LIVE Weekend Experience:
5 Anointed Keynote Addresses
5 Topical Intensive Workshops (Financial Freedom, Spiritual Maturity Together, Fire & Desire, Emotional Intimacy, Breaking Generational Bondage)
2 Roundtables (Investors, Authors)
Small Group Sessions
Entertainment (PODFest, Eusebeia’s Got Talent, Jazz Night, Imagination Station)
Lifetime friends and marriage accountability
5 Meals (when staying in our reserved hotel block)
Also, be sure to reserve your hotel room before September 26th when our special block rate expires.
Dalia and I are praying for those anchors in our marriage and yours. It doesn't matter how good the shelves of your marriage look if it isn't well anchored in trust in the Holy Spirit. Will you join us and couples from all over the country for this spiritual revival for Christian marriage. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, the contractor came in yesterday to re-install that shelf the correct way--with anchors.