I like to watch judge shows. Judge Judy, Judge Brown, Judge Mathis, People’s Court, in particular. But I like Judge Judy the most. In fact there was a prime-time special on last night that told how she got to be “Judge Judy” and gave a little background on her personal life. Interesting and entertaining, to say the least. But I like Judge Judy because she is a no-holds barred kind of judge, who will tell you the truth. In your face, truth. Sometimes she’s a bit harsh, and some may consider her mean, but I am yet drawn to her style. (Yes, I know, some of you are probably saying, because I’m the same way… harsh and mean, but that’s okay, I still love you. At least you will get the truth from me, even if it has to hurt sometime).
But anyway, I like Judge Judy, because what you see is what you get. I can’t help to believe she is the same way whether she is in court or at home around her loved ones. I think they get every side of her, and I believe there is a loving one, a desire to see people better, which is why I believe she is so hard on some. In fact, in watching that special, that was revealed when she was a family court judge in one of the 20/20 interviews. She is willing to love, but ready to correct if need be.
And one of the things that she says all the time, is “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.” Well, I beg to differ with that one, in that, that’s what faith often looks like. It sometimes doesn’t make sense. But know this, if God told tells you to do it, just do it. Sense will come later.
Judge Judy also says this a lot, often to couples who have been living together. “You want the trappings of marriage, but you don’t want to be married.” And then she says, “What else?” And continues, “I am not going to sort out your mess of who owes who what? You want somebody to do that, get married and then go to divorce court!” Ouch!! But I love it because that is the truth. Plain and simple.
Some people want the trappings of marriage. They want to celebrate being a couple for x amount of years. They want to celebrate their “dating” anniversary. (I have one too and it’s okay to celebrate it, but don’t act like you’re married and expect gifts and all that other stuff. It’s not the same. You want that, as Judge Judy would say, get married!) They want to share their bed, but not their living space. Share their belongings, but not their finances. They want to be considered as married, especially when it comes to receiving benefits but they don’t want to commit. They don’t want to sign up. They don’t want to, or feel as though they don’t need to, get that piece of paper that says, ‘I am in it for the long haul, no matter what.’
See when you get married, that says something. It says, ‘You’re willing.’ You’re willing to sacrifice some things, you’re willing to give up your space, money, time. You’re investing in someone else. For real. Yeah, some may say, “Oh, but being a couple, being engaged for 20+ years is the same as being married. We’ve made a commitment. We’re practically married.” No… you are not. Common law or no law, no matter how long it’s been. If you haven’t gone through the rules of the land, you are NOT married.
The institution of marriage is that for a reason. You have signed up to be joined together. To pay your locality’s fees for a marriage license. You have agreed to take on the other’s financial state and welfare (their credit score actually becomes yours). To give up your personal space, when it is not convenient to do so for you. To give up a piece of yourself when you don’t “feel” like it or are not in the mood. To have someone that you must answer to even though are you an adult. I could go on and on about the sanctity of marriage having just celebrated my 32nd year, and I am sure others could as well, but for this purpose I will end here.
The point is this, people want the trappings of marriage without being married. They want the trappings of success, without putting in the word, the sacrifice, the dedication, the commitment. They want the bells and the whistles, the prestige and the power, without doing what it takes to get there. People desperately seek after the anointing, but don’t want to go through the tests and the trials and the tribulations to get it.
People want the trappings of Christianity without Christ. What?! Yeah! You heard me. They are quick to call themselves a child of God, to call themselves “Spiritual” or “godly,” without having any form of godliness. They want to be called a Christian, but don’t want to believe. Don’t want to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ. They don’t want to forgive, they don’t want to sacrifice, they don’t want to love their enemies, they don’t want to work, they don’t want to commit. Notice any similarities, here? Selah.
\Commitment, work, sacrifice, love, dedication, honor, even the piece of paper. That’s what it takes.
What piece of paper you say for a Christian? The one in heaven where God has signed your name, as receiving Jesus and accepting Him as Lord and Savior. A piece of paper in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It’s real, you know.
It takes yielding to Him. A simple belief that Jesus Christ is Lord. A confession that comes from your heart out of your mouth, for you to get there.
And until you are ready to do what it takes, to put in the time, to put forth the effort, to put in the work and commitment, to sign up, you will continue to have the trappings, but not the marriage. A marriage made in heaven to and by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
Getting back to Judge Judy and what she said about those who are not married, might be something God is saying to some of us, “I am not going to sort out your mess…” Only unlike Judge Judy, once you make a commitment to Him, He WILL.
In the words of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Trappings and all. First in the natural, then in the spiritual. For real.
God is real. Oh, yes He is. Marry Him.
A servant of the Lord,