Valentine's Day is a popular time for proposals and weddings, so I thought this might be a good tme to revisit how marriage is like a cup of tea.
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). May our love for our spouse 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 all married couples to grow closer daily to one another and to Him, fulfilling the amazing plan He has for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and for renewed joy in and commitment to one another and to Him!
© 2016 Laurie Collett
Reposted from the archives
Thanks. Love to read this blog. I was drinking my evening tea :)
As one who loves tea myself, this is quite a thought-provoking article.
Here in Britain, "the cuppa" - with which England is renowned - is quite different from the one illustrated here. Traditionally, the tea leaves are allowed to brew in boiling water which is poured into a teapot from the kettle. The brew is then poured through a strainer into a cup and milk is added afterwards, and sugar too if preferred.
Nowadays a teabag is placed straight into a cup and boiling water is added, bypassing the teapot, and allowed to brew before milk is added. The advantage of this is the tea strainer is not required, but many traditionalists shun this method.
Likening tea with marriage/the Trinity looks to be so sensible. The renowned tea-break taken by all manual workers here in the UK is also so beneficial for overall production.
Also a good likeness to marriage. Boiling water added to milk gives an insipid liquid, unpleasant to taste. But with tea already added makes a refreshing drink. Also a symbol of the Trinity - water, milk tea.
A great post. God bless.
Thanks, Aritha! God bless you.
I agree -- tea steeped by the traditional method is much more satisfying than that made with a tea bag in the microwave. And fine china also enhances the experience. Yet we often opt for convenience at the expense of a tastier, more healthful drink.
The health benefits of tea, particularly green tea, are many in stimulating the immune system and lowering the risk for certain cancers.
I love your comparison to the Trinity, and the three components of tea also remind us that Jesus Christ should be an integral part of every marriage.
Thanks as always for sharing your experience and insights. God bless,
I like your reference regarding the one required ingredient to tea being water, and how no marriage can thrive without the living water. Since my husband and I have been born again of God's Holy Spirit, our marriage has effeminately thrived. As I read your article I was reminded of how many beautiful teas we tasted when we visited Shri Lanka on a ship. There was a beautiful place on the beach that had all types of teas to taste. They do not add anything other than boiled water to their teas, and it was such a refreshing time spent there.
Great Post, Laurie.
to produce a healthy tea, it is necessary to make sure we do not accidentally include toxic materials such as poisonous plants or plants that have been sprayed with different poisonous. In the same way, we need to make sure we do not include toxic attitudes and behaviors in a marriage.
Amen -- our marriage, too, was born again once we each were saved. Your Sri Lanka experience sounds amazing! We visited a tea plantation in Savannah, Georgia, where they also served many delicious teas, and it was fascinating to learn how the tea was grown, harvested, and brewed. Thanks as always for your comment and God bless,
Great point, Donald! Even a tiny bit of arsenic in a cup of tea would change it from a healthful, nutritious beverage to a lethal one. The same is true for our marriages, which is why each spouse must die daily to attitudes from the old sin nature.
Thanks for sharing your insights, and God bless.
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