A few days ago Sonja and I were enjoying a meal with some associates that we seldom get to see. They asked Sonja about our grandchildren. I thought to myself, “I know where this is going!” (They were grandparents too.)
Sure enough, soon the phones were out and we were sharing pictures and stories. I was reminded of one of my personal axioms: Don’t confuse having a personal relationship with God with having a private relationship with God.
A good way to illustrate this is with marriage.
Sonja and I will celebrate our 44th anniversary later this year. After four+ decades of marriage, I assure you there is a private element to our relationship. Private jokes, tears, sorrows, and dreams. We know things about each and we have shared experiences that only the two of us will ever (and should) know.
But that’s not enough.
Sonja is not my mistress that I keep hidden from the world. Sonja is my wife and I am not ashamed for everyone in the world to know.
I wear a wedding band in public. When I travel, Sonja usually travels with me. On weekends when I am ministering at a church I always acknowledge Sonja as my wife.
This speaks volumes. It lets people know that she belongs to me and I belong to her. I will be kind and considerate to every woman in the room, but my public relationship with my wife clearly sends the message that there is only so far that I will go with others.
This principle matters in many areas.
For example, your relationship with God.
Having a private relationship with God is most precious. But if God is most precious to you then He will should show up in your public life as well.
Harking back to my example of marriage, if people can know you and associate with you and not know that you’re married, what does that say about your true love for your spouse?
In the same way, if people can know you and associate with you on a regular basis and not know that you are a Christian, what does that say about your relationship with Christ?
The ONE THING for today: It is perfectly okay to keep our private life private, but it is not okay to be so private that it does not change our public life.
My six “virtually” perfect grandchildren (L-R) Rory, Ruby, Trinity, Annie, David Lee, Ella
And I am proud to publicly talk about them! 🙂
And if you’re a grandparent, turn around is fair play…feel free to send me pictures of your virtually perfect grandchildren as well.