Tuesday, June 6, 2017
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Over the years, my wife, Karen, and I were guilty of what they used to call in college PDAs (public displays of affection) - mostly at home. Who says you can't hug or kiss in the kitchen or the hallway? It's been interesting to watch the reactions of our kids over the years. Like our youngest when he was still a baby in the high chair in the kitchen. Karen and I would be, well the kids would call it "smooching", and suddenly we realized that he was laughing, he'd be pounding on his tray, and he'd be applauding. I don't know how you like kissing to applause and laughter, but I find it a little distracting. But our baby loved it when we were affectionate! I guess all three of the kids did. Sometimes when Karen and I were hugging, we would suddenly feel this little person in between us. We'd look down into big blue eyes and hear them asking that question, "Will you let me in your love?"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "In the Middle of Your Love."
Our kids wanted to be in the middle of our love. Actually, that's where children were supposed to be. Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Malachi 2:13-17. "You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings and accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, 'Why?'" The answer for this breakdown in this relationship with God is a surprising answer - there is a breakdown in their marriage! God says, "It is because the Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant."
God is saying, "You're not treating your mate as you promised you would, and that's hurting your relationship with Me." Why is God so concerned about this? He said, "Has not the Lord made them one? ...And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring."
God says when your marriage isn't working, something damaging happens to your children. Spiritually healthy children are the by-product of a man and woman who are loving each other as they promised they would. Some people decide that the way to resolve the conflict situation in their marriage is to end their marriage. The next verse makes it very clear how God feels about that option, "I hate divorce, says the Lord God." God wants the relationship fixed, not ended, fought for, not given up on.
When our little guy was clapping for his Mom and Dad kissing, he was expressing, even as a baby, where the security of every child is supposed to be rooted - in knowing that the love from which he or she came is still going strong. When our kids were asking, "Will you let me be in the middle of your love?" they were identifying the safe place that a husband and wife's love for each other is supposed to provide for their children. Without that, kids are insecure; they're not confident, they're not sure where they stand. We were not meant to love our children instead of loving our husband and wife. Confident, healthy children are caught in the overflow of mom and dad loving each other. Someone said the greatest thing a father could do for his children is to love their mother and I'd say vice versa.
Maybe the love you once had in your marriage has taken a beating. Maybe there are walls, resentments, just a cold silence or lack of affection. Your son's watching, your daughter's watching, and they desperately need for you and your mate to do whatever it takes to find the hope factors in your relationship, to get whatever help you need to rekindle the love from which they came. To cry out to Jesus and say, "Jesus, I can't, but give me Your love to give to them."
They may be too big to say it or they might be too big to interrupt a hug, but you can be sure your son or daughter is asking in their heart, "Can I be in the middle of your love?" That love is worth fighting for, it's worth sacrificing for. In the middle of you and your spouse's love - that's where your child was created to be.