Saturday, April 30, 2016
How is Marriage like a Cup of Tea?
To my son Brendan and daughter-in-love Lindsay, on their wedding day
The unique leaves, spices and blossoms combined in our favorite tea create an experience far greater than the sum of its ingredients. When God brings together a husband and wife, He unites their special blend of gifts, talents, and personality traits to create one flesh from two individuals – a single being with far greater potential than each has separately (Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:8).
The one required ingredient for tea is water. No marriage can thrive without the “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) flowing from Jesus Christ as the Head of the couple, portraying the self-sacrificing love husbands should have for their wives (Ephesians 5:25). That Living Water forever quenches their thirst and gives them everlasting life, so that not even death can separate them (John 4: 14).
Tea refreshes, revives, comforts, warms and relaxes us all at the same time, just as husband and wife do for one another. This is possible only through the fire of the Holy Spirit, or Comforter (John 14:16), Who lovingly nurtures all who have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians. 15:1-4; John 14:6).
A hearty cup of hot tea can give us our second wind when our spirits sag, just as husband and wife rejuvenate one another. God Himself has promised to revive our spirit and our heart (Psalm 85:6; 138:7) when we turn to Him asking forgiveness (Psalm 51:10), with the humility (Isaiah 57:15) of knowing that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But with Him, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26).
God gives the couple strength (Isaiah 40:31), patience (James 1:2-8), peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7; 2 Corinthians 13:11) and joy (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 27:6; 32:11; 35:9) when they seek Him daily (Psalm 61:8; 68:19), and not just in times of trouble. Those of us who enjoy tea normally do so daily, and so it should be with seeking God’s comfort.
Tea needs just the right amount of heat and steeping to brew to perfection. So husbands and wives shouldn’t be surprised when God allows them to get into hot water! We don’t always understand why God allows trouble into our life, but we can trust Him to work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Tough times strengthen our faith in Him, our dependence on Him and our closeness to one another (James 1). Suffering makes husband and wife resemble Christ more closely (Philippians 3:10), and gives them compassion, wisdom and experience to help one another and others going through similar trials (Galatians 6:2; James 3:17).
Offering another person a cup of tea (or even water; Mark 9:41) is a loving gesture of kindness and hospitality, evoking images of a grandmother inviting her grandchild to snuggle under a warm blanket in her rocking chair while sipping tea, or a family allowing a stranger to come in out of the storm and warm himself by the fire as a cup of hot tea takes the chill off his bones.
God comforts us in our sorrow and trials by showing us His tender mercies (Lamentations 3:22), so that we can comfort others who are suffering (2 Corinthians.1:3). Brendan and Lindsay are compassionate, loving people – may they continue to treat one another with the same tenderness, understanding and generosity they show to others. May their love always exemplify kindness, patience, self-sacrifice, joy, truth and hope (1 Corinthians 13).
Once the tea has brewed, the process is irreversible. Unique blessings from husband and wife mingle together forever in this mystery that portrays the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (Ephesians 5:32). So what God has put together, let no man put asunder! (Matthew 19:4-6)
Praying for Brendan and Lindsay daily to grow closer to one another and to Him, fulfilling the amazing plan He has for their lives! (Jeremiah 29:11) And praying for all married couples, for renewed joy in and commitment to one another and to Him!
© 2016 Laurie Collett