I think that this must have been my mother’s mantra. When I whined about doing something I didn’t want to do, she most often found a way to slip this into the conversation. “Don’t forget the Golden Rule,” she would remind.
So as an adult, I’m often reminded to think through how I want to be treated before acting on my impulses. I carry it out pretty well with my neighbors and do a decent job in the grocery line. I can be fairly polite to the lady behind the pharmacy counter and I’m usually patient with the guy serving me at the restaurant.
But for some reason, I found my real break-down at home.
My very, own husband.
Yep. The flames of marriage seem to tarnish the Golden Rule. Why is that?
I’ve come up with at least three good reasons:
The truth of who I really am is uncovered at home.
Random acts of kindness may impress strangers, but just look like spasmodic blips to my spouse. After all, “when self is in charge of the control, I don’t have much self-control” (Hungry For More: Feasting through the Word, p. 29).
Marriage must be more than erratic nice deeds. My commitment to Mark takes a systematic determination of my will, not a sudden flush of good feelings. He knows me too well for that. Forgiving a spouse involves regular face-to-face meetings with the Ultimate Forgiver.
I’ve been influenced by society’s remake of the Golden Rule. In essence: “Walking the second mile for others is praise-worthy; walking the second mile for a husband is demeaning.
This is just another of satan’s rebellious lies. “It is necessary to be in subjection” (Romans 13:5). For men, for women, for citizens, and for children. Even Christ Himself “will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
I must raise up my shield of faith to extinguish these lies, in all their forms (Ephesians 6:16). Yielding to my husband teaches me how to submit to my God. This is one of His many truths that frees me (John 8:32).
I don’t want to endure the heat to form the gold.
This rule is golden because it is tested through fire. And only the hottest fires produce the most precious metal.
By it’s very composition, marriage causes sparks. Sometimes, it ignites passion. Sometimes, anger.
Anytime you rub two metals together, you are going to get heat. In marriage, we are the two alloys that first kindle the flame, and then must submit ourselves to the fire we ignited. It takes a hot fire to meld together a strong home.
When I am willing to “do unto Mark as I want him to do unto me”, then the Golden Rule is revealed for just how precious it truly is.