In most cases, the happy (and wise) couple took the time to count the cost of their new adventure before they jumped the broom, tied the knot, or “bought the cow”.
EHarmony has 29 different personality traits they compare before they hook you up with somebody that’s “compatible”. Most engaged couples will take two or more years to get to know each other before they finally waltz down the aisle. That’s normal. Even healthy.
So why is it so unusual to expect us to put in a little more effort than a simple prayer before we commit our entire life (and the life hereafter) to a God we don’t know?
Now, I know I’m stepping on the toes of friends that I love dearly, but this isn’t my idea. It’s all over the scriptures.
In Luke 9, we’re called to count the cost before we commit ourselves to a relationship with God. In Luke 14, Jesus compares it to someone who started constructing a building but then didn’t have the money to complete it. We’ve all seen those unfinished buildings. They stand like monuments to impulsiveness. They become the butt of jokes.
If we had been so impulsive as to marry our first boyfriend in high school, our friends, family, and perfect strangers would have hung us by our toes until we came to our senses. In hindsight, we would laugh at the preposterousness of the idea. Why in the world would we commit to someone we barely knew?
Maybe that’s why our divorce rate is closing on 70% because we don’t know who we are marrying. We didn’t check out the land before we “bought the farm”. Maybe that’s why people who utter a simple prayer without understanding what that commitment will cost them (everything), fall right back into their old godless habits within days of their “conversion”. More, they don’t understand what the plan cost God.
But it’s right there in the Bible–God’s love letter to us. In it, he demonstrates his commitment and faithfulness to us again and again. What’s more, he reveals Jesus—God in human form sent to die for us.
In Isaiah 54:5, God calls himself our first husband. Since he made us, he understands what he’s getting in the marriage package. But do we? A “marriage” to God is the door to a fulfillment that we can never experience with another human being—not even with a spouse. It is the greatest, most intimate relationship we could ever have.
Is it possible for those impulsive, Las Vegas weddings to work? Sure, but mostly only in chick-flicks or Nicholas Sparks novels.
We live in the real world and while I’ve made a lot of foolish decisions in my lifetime and suffered crushing disappointments, the biggest reasons I am still “married” to my First Husband (with the relationship getting better day by day) is because I knew from the start that the price of this “cow” was the whole farm.