One of my favorite stories about my wife, Sue, is when she baked a cake when she was 9 years old. A week earlier she had baked her first cake from scratch under her mother’s watchful supervision. It was delicious and with all the family compliments ringing in her ears, Sue wanted to repeat her performance, this time making cupcakes. But she insisted on doing it completely on her own. (Sue has always been independent!)
Unfortunately, she mixed up the baking soda and baking powder. Her cupcakes were little round disks, less than an inch high and hard as rocks! For years afterward, Sue heard her family kid her, “Remember the time you made us hockey pucks for dessert!” It was such a small deviation from the recipe instructions, but what a difference it made!
To be fair, I have a similar story about myself. We were expecting our son Gabriel and needed a new crib. Sue bought one and brought home the box, you know the one that says, “some assembly required.” Like most men, I tossed the instructions aside and dove into the project.
A half an hour later, I looked at my construction and realized there was a bracket and 2 bolts left over, and I had installed the sliding panel backwards. It took me another hour to disassemble my project, and this time following the instructions, to put the crib together correctly.
Before laughing too loud at us, I’m sure most of you can tell a similar story on yourself. Maybe it was the time you got the colorful, kaleidoscopic laundry after failing to separate the whites from the non-fast colors, or you shrank your favorite T-shirt because you failed to follow the direction which said “line dry.” Perhaps it was trying to use that standard screwdriver to tighten a philips-head screw, or the time you ignored the break-in directions and took a long hike in your new boots!
Most of us have learned the hard way that ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions, is a recipe for disaster. We thought we had a better, simpler way, but we found out we were wrong. The product’s maker had it right all along.
God is our Maker and He designed us for relationships, declaring that it is not good for us to be alone. (Genesis 2:18) He also designed the perfect types of relationships for us: marriage, family, friendships, in which we could discover our identity and mature in an atmosphere of security, safety and love.
He gives us very specific instructions on how to engage in these relationships so they will best satisfy our desires and needs. We may think we have an alterative way which will work for us, but God cautions: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to complete destruction.” (Proverbs 16:25) Ignoring our Maker’s instructions can be disastrous, robbing us of everything we desire.
Maybe you hesitate to accept God’s directions for relating because you think they will deny you fulfillment. Nothing could be further from the truth. God assures us: “
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) God loves you and wants to give you a far better life than anything you can imagine. Discover His instructions for “a perfect fit” in your relationships!
Join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM for our second discussion on relationships in our current “Sex in the City” series. My topic is “The Gay Myth: Beyond Will and Grace”.