I’ve heard it said that married couples can fall into a “lull”. Sometimes the lull lasts for months… sometimes years. Subtly the couple’s relationship becomes based more on the kids and the house and their jobs than on each other. Their love for each other turns cold and they find themselves sitting across the table at dinner with only the silence to accompany their meal.
They become just roommates.
I never would have guessed such occurrences could happen in a friendship. But I’m learning, a covenant relationship is a covenant relationship. 30 and single, I would like to say I get all the “perks” of singleness. You know, the “freedom” and independence. Not checking in with anyone, no accountability, no one else to consider in many a decision making process and then of course choosing the decision that most benefits ME. But in Christ there is still accountability. There is still interdependence. There is still dying to self. And Oh is there dying to self… Not in the way of marriage (or so I’m told) but in its’ own way. In the way that creates stretching and character building; two things I appreciate more in hindsight than in the midst of… This stretching is kindly described in proverbs as “iron sharpening iron” but to me feels more like an ax to the roots of a tree. In my heart I know those roots are necessary to cut off since they are old sinful things, hindering the beauty of Christ in me. Fear. Anxiety. Doubt. Lust. Worry. Idolatry. Anything that will distract me from Truth and Love. But still, the chopping is painful and the roots do not want to be removed. Sometimes I do not want them to be removed. And Yeshua, in His eternal wisdom, knew that. He knew that I would not like the chopping. Would not like the sharpening. And so He hedged me in:
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns,
And wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths.
She will chase her lovers, But not overtake them;
Yes, she will seek them, but not find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband,
For then it was better for me than now.”…
I’m sure many a married couple can relate to being hedged in. The definition of hedge has a negative connotation. It brings imagery of restrictions, being confined and stuck inside of boundaries, etc…this imagery only causes a desire for one to be unhedged, to be unattached, to be FREE. And yet true freedom as seen in this passage is to be hedged in with the Beloved. And that means being hedged within His WILL. So even though this season is surprisingly painful, and I’ve experienced so much of what married couples go through in this very unique covenant relationship… and the hedging has become too much and I’m looking for ways to be unhedged… I know that because He gripped me with His unrelenting Love: He. Will. Win.
And even though it feels like we are “just roommates”, because He is in the midst, He will bring back life where things have died. He will successfully chop the roots of those sinful things in me and plant in their place seeds to bear fruit that will remain. He is an expert at this. He is an expert at resurrection.
He is an expert at loving me.