August 31, 2021
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Little Cindy had been a bad girl. She'd been sent from the dinner table to her room. After a little while, Mom and Dad thought the point had been made. They knew that children, of course, need to be assured of our love when we've disciplined them. So, Daddy went upstairs, opened the door to Cindy's room. Found her in bed, under her covers, snuggling with her arm wrapped tightly around her favorite dolly. Her father sat on the bed and he just gently said, "Cindy, I love you." Then he held out his arms to hug her. For a moment, the little girl just looked straight ahead and she hugged her dolly closer. But that couldn't last. Very soon, Cindy dropped her dolly and grabbed her Daddy in a big hug. Because a dolly is no substitute for a daddy!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hugging the Wrong Thing."
When little Cindy felt as if she couldn't have her Daddy's hugs, she resorted to something that couldn't be as good as a Daddy. Sadly, many grownups make that same kind of mistake - married grownups. We feel like we're not getting the love we need from the person that's our husband or wife, so we start hugging something else.
It's a strange, but all too common phenomenon. When we don't feel our mate is loving us in our language of love, they're not meeting our needs, we subconsciously start pouring ourself into something or someone else to fill that gap. And that's where the most important of all human relationships starts to drift, divide, and deteriorate. Pretty soon, two people who pledged that they would be one until death did them part are living in the same house but living in two different worlds.
We set ourselves up for that heartache when we start getting away from the Designer's blueprint for marriage, spelled out for the first husband and wife in history. It's in our word for today from the Word of God in Genesis 2, beginning with verse 18. "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.' ... the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man ... a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." That's the total merging of two lives, and that's the Master Plan. He is for her, she is for him, and together they walk with God and rule what He has given them.
Tragically, sin entered the garden and entered their relationship and drove a wedge between them. Sin is still doing that, and we help it happen with our own neglect. If a woman feels she's not the center of her husband's priorities and his affections, she turns to her children or other relationships or other arenas to meet her need. If a man is not feeling secure in his wife's love, he'll look for affirmation and identity somewhere else, by "marrying" his work, marrying his hobby, or even with the attention of another woman.
If you sense that happening, now is the time to take your heart back to that altar where you pledged to make him or her your number one. Let your needs be known, gently not accusingly. And if necessary, seek out counseling together to get back to your first love. Or better yet, an even greater love.
Face the responsibility you have for the distance that's been developing. Put aside whatever "dolly" you've been hugging for security and wrap both arms around the person you pledged your life to. Yes, you have to work at this oneness that God created marriage to bring. But it is so worth the work; so worth the sacrifices. If you're married, God intended you to find in one another the harbor for which our hearts truly long.