The Plumbing of a Godly Marriage: Just Say “No” to Poop-Slinging!

Godly marriages have plumbing? Really?  Absolutely.  Every house has plumbing.  Every person has plumbing.  And every marriage has plumbing, too.  As we continue in the series “Building a Godly Marriage” and using the analogy of building a house, I figure it’s good to stick with the theme.  So, what is the plumbing of a godly marriage?  Well, hold your pliers, we’re getting there.

The plumbing in a house is responsible for two tasks:  The first task of plumbing is to bring in a steady flow of clean water.  The second task of the plumbing is to get rid of the poop (or waste).  The second cannot be done without the first.  If something goes wrong with the plumbing, you often know about it quickly.  A small leak is usually not a big deal, but should be addressed before it becomes a bigger leak.  A toilet that is clogged must be addressed before the next use.  A water heater that busts or a pipe that bursts must be addressed quickly.  When these issues are not addressed in time, they can become expensive to repair.

The plumbing in marriage is bringing in the clean water of God’s grace and removing the poop in marriage.  What do I mean by this?  The poop in marriage is the bitterness that has built up from the sin-stained clogs in the relationship.  It’s the stuff that has built up over time and which has not been addressed.  And if that happens, yes, you too can become a poop-slinger.

I know a person who had a septic pump that broke and a warning signal that never came on.  After a short amount of time, the waste built up so much in the septic tank that it eventually came into the house at its lowest level.  Do you think they took care of the issue right away or let the waste build up and stink up the home?  Well, they took care of it right away.  When holding on to bitterness and resentment, the waste of anger builds up until it enters your everyday living space.  Then when that  happens, spouses, in their anger and revenge (they would call it justice, but it’s revenge), end up slinging the poop at one another.  The stench is awful in their nostrils and in God’s, too, but, they argue, “they can’t seem to help themselves” and “the other person deserves it.” So the poop slinging continues.   Instead of addressing the issue, spouses often choose to live in it and use it against one another.  Friends, this should not be, especially as believers in Christ.

Thankfully, there is another part of this plumbing which is important.  It is the bringing in the clean water of God’s grace.  We need His cleansing.  We need His forgiveness.  We need His love.  If we were to take an honest look at ourselves, we would see how covered in waste we really are.  Our hearts our filthy.  Our hands are covered in sin.  We need Him now more than ever.  Jesus shared in the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matt 18) that we should forgive as the Lord forgave us.  If we are unable to do this, the Lord won’t forgive us.  Wow.  Did you see that?  That is serious.  When the plumbing in our marriages is clogged, our relationship with the Lord is significantly affected.

God has forgiven us so much.  If we are to have marriages without plumbing difficulties, we must remember our sins, how we brought him to the cross through our sins, and how he loved us so much to take the punishment of our sins upon himself.  When we forgive, we must first consider his grace and then give as we have received.  For the plumbing in our marriages to flow without these clogs and poop slinging, we must be constantly aware of our sins and his love.  Then that which we have received, we must freely give.

This portion was taken from the Marriage Seminar: Building a Godly Marriage.  For more information about this seminar from Foundations Christian Counseling Services, please call Fred Jacoby at 570-402-5088.

Life Lessons From A Seagull: Part 2

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade.   Behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining.  When the going gets tough, the tough gets going……  Well, we can cliche people to death, helping them see that there is the light amidst the darkness, a rose among the thorns, a diamond in the rough, and all that.  Well, here’s one more for you:  When a seagull poops on your head, be glad he didn’t steal your sandwich too (see Life Lessons from a Seagull: Part 1).   No I didn’t get pooped on (this time), but I know someone who did on their trip to the shore.  People say that we must learn from all of our hard times and difficult circumstances…and I agree with that.  But seriously, what is it that we could possibly learn from a bird relieving itself on you?  Don’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Poop happens?  Well, at least we can learn that when you go to the beach, wear a hat. 

The news that we so painstakingly know is this…sometimes, life is not fair…at least, not in the way we see fairness.  Bad things happen.  We get pooped on by those we don’t know and by those we do.  Sometimes when we’re on the receiving end of the bad it can seem so…well, overwhelming.  Loved ones hurt us (maybe constantly).  Family and friends die.  Unemployment occurs, cars break down, and our bodies deteriorate and we suffer.  When we receive the bad stuff time after time again, especially so close in time to one another, we get overwhelmed and often find it so hard to cope.  Before we know it, we are starting to question God’s love for us and His goodness towards us.  We throw our hands up in the air like Steve Carell in Evan Almighty and yell “Are you kiddin’ me?”

At times I think it would be easier to cope with such events if we knew God’s purposes.  Othertimes, I think if we were to know the reasons behind these events that God allowed, it would turn us away from God because we would not be able to see past our grief and pain.  Although I may go back and forth in my thinking, these things I do know…that despite the circumstances, God is always good.  Despite the trying times and sufferings we go through, God is always Love.  Being anchored in the truth of His goodness and love is essential if we are going to make it amidst the storms of life.  We may get tossed to and fro a bit, but if we remain anchored, our faith and lives will not be shipwrecked.  Okay, enough of that analogy.

So maybe we can learn something from getting pooped on.  Life does not go they way we want it to go.  It just doesn’t.  How we respond to such events will show a lot about your character and relationship with God.  If you yell and curse at someone who “poops” on you and act out in vengeance towards them, what have you learned?  Nothing. You’re trying to do the teaching, not the learning.  If you constantly put yourself out there to get pooped on, then that is exactly what will happen.  But if you’re prepared for such events, being anchored in the truth, knowing that bad things do happen, then such events will not waver your faith.  Why?  Because you have placed your trust in an always good and loving God who makes all things good (Rom 8:28).  How will you react or respond when you get pooped on?

Karen Hoffner, our Board Director and good friend, talked about a wonderful moment in prayer with God. While sitting on her porch quietly taking in the sun, a bird landed on her arm and chirped as if to say “Hello.”   Karen saw this little gift from God, thinking how wonderful that little reminder was to her that God was with her.  As the bird started to take off, it first decided to leave a nice deposit on her arm.  Yes, God’s little reminder to her pooped on her arm.  And what was Karen’s response?  Karen laughed… because sometimes we simply learn that God has a sense of humor, too.