On two separate occasions I have been watching sermons by Sinclair Ferguson in which he references a question that was asked of him. The question was about his marriage. It went like this, “What do you and your wife do?”
With a twinkle in his eye, Ferguson responded, “We don’t do anything?” This response brought follow up questions in an attempt to clarify what was intended. Yet Ferguson stuck to his answer. For his questioner’s sake, he tweaked his answer, “We like to do nothing.”
Doing vs Being
Ferguson then expanded by contrasting the idea of doing and being. He indicated that he and his wife had been with other for a long period of time. They had grown in their love and knowledge of each other. This growth was to such an extent that they simply revel in the enjoyment of each other’s presence. This enjoying presence was as real with or without conversation. Then Ferguson played his trump card, “I just like looking at her and being with her.”
Like the misguided questioner, we have become conditioned to thinking of our marriages in terms of what we do. Date nights must be about doing something. Days off are scheduled with activities. The result is that we fail to develop the kind of intimacy that delights in being with one another, talking with one another and gazing upon one another.
This is not say we should not do anything together. It is a matter of emphasis. Are you disappointed if scheduled plans fail and you are left with a quiet night at home together?
Frank & Suzie
When I began to experience cardiac problems, the activities for the Gantz marriage took a dramatic shift. We had spent a number of years going, going, going. That is doing. Now we go every once in awhile. And we like it this way. We have grown closer to each other than ever before. We smile. We say sweet things. We touch. We pray. My regret is that we did not learn these lessons earlier in life.
Christ and the Church
Since marriage is an earthly picture of our relationship to Jesus, the same principles apply to our relationship with the Savior. The best of this relationship is to delight and enjoy spending time in his presence. There is a time for doing, but our doing is much better when we are being.