A Vision Appointment

“Draper, you are reacting to the pass slowly.  Why?”

That is the question that Coach Larry Chapman asked me one day in practice when I was 19 years of age, playing college basketball at Auburn University Montgomery.

Until he asked me about my reaction time, I never considered that I was reacting too slowly to the ball.  I just came to see it as part of the way that I played basketball.  However, after that question, I made an eye appointment with a local optometrist and had my eyes checked, and come to find out, I needed glasses.

Until this point in my life, I did not think I needed glasses.  I coped with it!  I guess I had gotten used to having bad vision.

What about your vision?

Do you wear glasses or contacts to help you with your vision?

Without them, are you like me, cannot see past your hand?

One definition of “vision” is the act or power of seeing.

Another definition for vision is a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination.

Today’s column is about your vision for your marriage.

What is your vision for your marriage?

Vision is seeing the invisible.
Jonathan Swift

For a moment, I was hoping you could go back in your memory and reflect on why you married your spouse.

What was the reason?

Was it the way they made you laugh?

Was it the way they made you feel?

What was the reason?

When you were first married, what was your vision for your marriage?  Did you have one?  If we are honest, somewhere along the way of being married, raising kids, taking care of responsibilities, and just living, we lose our vision for our marriage.  If we are not careful, our vision for our marriage will become more administrative than admiration.  More logistical than loving.

No institution can survive without a vision to pull it forward.

What do you do if you do not have a vision for your marriage?

What do you do if you have lost the vision for your marriage?

What do you do if you have stopped dreaming about marriage?

What do you do if you have lost the power of imagination for your marriage?

The answer, go to the one who created marriage.

The Lord God, in his Word, gives us a vision for marriage.  The vision for marriage came before Adam and Eve sinned.  God’s vision for marriage still holds true today.

God’s vision for marriage is given in Genesis and then echoed by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew and Mark.

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.  “At last!” the man exclaimed.  “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!  She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ ” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.  Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:22–25, NLT)

But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.  ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one,” (Mark 10:6–8, NLT)

God’s vision for marriage includes two essential features.

First, God wants unity in marriage.

Second, God wants safety in marriage.

Notice that the scripture says, “…the two are united into one…” I have heard it said that you cannot have community without unity.  It is hard to remain united in marriage, but we must fight for unity and protect it.

Unity does not mean uniformity; it means cooperation in the midst of diversity.
Warren W. Wiersbe

Lastly, notice that the scripture says, “…they felt no shame.” Our marriages must be a safe space where we are free from judgment and where we can share what we are feeling without the risk of retaliation or betrayal.

“The soul of a marriage can be a…[romantic meeting] place where two people can come together quietly from the struggles of the world and feel safe, accepted, and loved … or it can be a battle ground where two egos are locked in a lifelong struggle for supremacy, a battle which is for the most part invisible to the rest of the world.”
Keith Miller

What is your vision for your marriage?

It’s time for a vision appointment.

Take your vision to the Lord and allow Him to examine it to see if it is what He wants for your marriage.

Vision is essential for survival.  It is spawned by faith, sustained by hope, sparked by imagination, and strengthened by enthusiasm.  It is greater than sight, deeper than a dream, broader than an idea.  Vision encompasses vast vistas outside the realm of the predictable, the safe, the expected.  No wonder we perish without it!
—Charles R. Swindoll, Make Your Dream Come True

Dr. Draper Rogers is a pastor with Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to North Jefferson Magazine.