After a routine eye exam, I asked the optician technician in the doctor’s office to adjust my glasses. I thought she could do it. After all, she was a hired employee who would have been trained. Instead of performing my request to tighten my glasses to fit better on my nose and ears, however, she structurally changed the lenses by switching them! My eyes had been dilated and my vision was extremely blurry so I didn’t realize it until much later in the day when my vision cleared up to normal. My daughter drove me to another eye care store and their experts realized what had happened. The frame had even bent out of shape in the top corners.
Once they popped the lenses out and put them back into place, my eyes could see with 20/20 vision. Each of my eyes has a different prescription so the wrong lenses interfered with and disabled my vision.
During the same week, my vision blurred in other ways. News events in my town, state and country seeped into my brain and led to feelings that I don’t normally have all in one day. I cried and swallowed the negative news. My emotions tried to cloud the truth. I knew better but just kept replaying the words that I’d heard from social media and news outlets. I second guessed decisions that I’d made and just didn’t know how to proceed in life.
Just like my switched lenses had jaded my reality, the news that I had heard interrupted my peace. I wish that I could just make things go back to normal like the eye expert switched my lenses but it’s difficult when your world appears out of focus. Instead, I have to look to God because He helps us interpret events through His lens, the Bible.
Reading God’s Word regularly cleans up our spiritual lenses if they have gotten smudged and covered with filth and lies. God knows that we are dust but He made us and wants our fellowship. He carves out moments to sit with us and gently wash away the impact of the world on our spiritual lenses. It’s the Word of God that washes away the funk.
The Apostle Paul wrote about the cleansing that is needed to help us live holy lives. He coins the phrase “the washing of water with the word”:
Ephesians 5: 25 – 27 – Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Jesus laid down his life so that he could have a church that would not look to any other thing but to Him. He wanted us to let the Word of God wash out the impurities that attach to our lenses.
The Word of God is the detergent that removes our sin stain. When I think about the sacrifice that Jesus made to cleanse me, to cleanse the church, I am humbled. He literally allowed executors to put him to death. It was His choice to give himself up for His church so that She, the church, would be holy.
Paul told Timothy specific advice about why we need God’s Word in 2 Timothy 4: 2 – 4: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
It seems to me like it’s fairly easy to let the events that bother us begin to be our permanent lenses even in marriage. In Ephesians 5:25 – 27, Paul is speaking to husbands to love their wives as Christ loves us as His body, His church. For a husband to love his wife like Jesus loves the church, a man has to realize the role he plays especially in a conflict in a marriage. Loving a wife means that a man will protect her, provide for her and seek to know her. I know that Jesus willingly gave His all so what does that teach us? I believe that husbands and wives should give their all to each other.
We know that at times, our lenses in marriage can become smudged when we remember the mistakes of the past or relive the hurts that happened. When this happens, let’s realize the way that the enemy would use the memories or mishaps to deceive us and keep us from seeing the possibility of the marriage vow. We are all just people with faults and personalities that can be perceived as mountains and barriers in relationships. Getting adjusted to distortion is not good; it creates a disequilibrium that never gets better.
My distorted lenses kept me from seeing the truth of the world based on the eye technician switching the lenses. I knew the world around me should not look fuzzy and warped but it did even hours after my eyes had been dilated. Normally, my eyes would have corrected and seen my world within a few hours so I knew something was terribly wrong when, eight hours later, the distortion of my world persisted. How glad I was to get a correct assessment of the situation so that the lenses could be popped out and placed back into the correct position.
What if the disagreement that happens in marriages becomes the full time, all the time way that we interpret every event, distorting our love and dismantling our homes? Where there is a barrier to love, someone has to remove it or it will become permanent and impossible. If not, then the lies of the enemy will tear up relationships when spouses turn away from truth.
Sometimes, we have to realize we’ve allowed our perception of our spouse to be tarnished and need to switch the narrative in our marriages by letting God clean and restore. Other things try to capture our attention and let them distort our friendship and love. We could even allow a switching of our lenses by the things we listen to or watch and let them mangle our idea of what our spouse means to us. It’s important to examine the lens quality and be sure we are able to maintain and grow our relationship in marriage.
God’s Word speaks to the heart of a matter. I wonder, though, if our ears are so full of the news and opinions of those who speak the loudest that we forget to tune into what God says. What does He want you to know? Marriage is not always easy, but God allows love to grow and keep growing throughout our lives when we see our spouse through the eyes of Jesus.
Deviation from God’s Word will only lead to devastation. Let’s keep our lenses clean and clear by reading and knowing God’s Word.
I believe that Jesus loves each of us more than we can ever know. His love allowed Him to be our sin sacrifice on the cross. He laid down His life and redeemed our lives. When I think of all the times Jesus submitted to His Father’s Will and how he modeled what it means to lay down His life, it humbles me. His grace and mercy not only performed a permanent sacrifice, but also washed away my sin! The blood of Jesus made me whole and complete. No thing or person has this kind of power on earth except Jesus.
If your spiritual eyes are dim or your lenses distort your view of life, look into God’s Word to see the truth. Ponder the depth of His love and allow the cleansing to begin. It will wash you and help you see your situation with His truth. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to see clearly again. The things of the world have a way of growing dim as we see Jesus more clearly.
The push to get our own way at any cost has to submit to Jesus. He will help us to treat our spouse with love and respect. In our homes, may He be the focus and His Word be our guide. The water of His Word cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Embrace it and see the truth!
David had committed adultery then cried out to God to cleanse Him. When I read Psalm 51 which was penned after David’s encounter with Bathsheba, I hear a desperation for God to help him and clean him. My prayer today is that we will have that same desperation for God through His Word to allow us to see our need for Him, for his saving grace and His cleansing.
Psalm 51: 1- 13 (ESV)
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.