Have you ever wondered why marriage goes the way it does with all it’s ups and downs? Some days you think you couldn’t live without your mate, and other days, well… it’s nice to have a bit of space. What if there was a purpose in all the challenges you face not only in your marriage but in life itself?
Early this year a friend of mine wrote the following article that answers that question in a very revealing manner. I thought it was so good I wanted to share it with you with his permission. Read more to learn THE perspective you need to get the most out of your marriage, your family, and your life as a whole!
(dĭ-sī′pəl) a professed follower of Christ, a pupil
by Rob Parker
Our heavenly Father has always got us in a classroom; it’s called life. The lesson that He is always teaching us is “Be conformed to the image of my Son, Jesus”. No matter the situation, the frustration, irritation, confusion or depression, when we cry out “OH GOD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING” a large part of the answer is always “I am conforming you to the image of my Son”. God’s great class has a number of learning environments, teaching methods, instructors, the occasional field trip and the almost guaranteed hourly pop quiz. Class is always in session, He doesn’t grade on the curve, retesting is expected, cheating is impossible and the only way you fail is if you drop out.
This lifelong class has thousands and thousands of lessons, ranging from exciting to terrifying and joyful to painful. Most of our lessons are private but a few are public, some are short, most drag on longer then needed but all of them are required. “Conformity 101” is the only class in the world where every test is open book and the Teacher will give you the answers if you ask Him. Every student has a personal tutor available to them and He’s holy, He knows all things and He prays for our success!
The class is more than enjoyable, it’s transformational.
This class is the only one in the world where none of the students have a learning disability; there is no “special ed” and throughout history most of the students have been illiterate. With that said, some students are slow to learn. Our lessons are either pass or fail, grades are not given, for they lead to comparison and comparison leads to either pride or depression, but never transformation. Just showing up will yield poor results and just getting by is to fail. The successful students will possess humility, a teachable heart and faith. No one will graduate “Head of class” but acceleration is possible. Every student will be honored in the next age.
Unfortunately there are a few bullies in class, along with class clowns, loafers, the selfies, complainers, the disrespectful, gossips and the rebels. These are fellow students who don’t realize they are in a class room; they’ve forgotten the lesson and have become distracted by the temporal. Interestingly enough, our great Teacher uses them and their constant presence as an object lesson to instruct the rest of the students in humility, patience, love, gentleness, kindness, self-control, long suffering. These are among the “Conforming” lessons most over looked and seem to take the longest to learn.
The class is full of paradoxes, where to die is to live, giving is gaining, to go high you have to go low, the first is last and the last is first, the weak are strong, foolish things are actually wise, and being the “teacher’s pet” is encouraged. You will not win Teachers approval by hard work but His unconditional love for you motivates you to work hard. Conformity 101 is truly the only life changing course in the world. The school is not private, anyone can come.
The only entrance exam is this: You must have faith in the instructor and His holy desire and ability to conform you.
How about you, did you know you were in a classroom? Did you know the lesson was conformity to the image of the Jesus? Did you know that the pesky people around you are part of the class? Are you an active participant in class, are you a diligent student? Disappointed in your performance, not to worry, raise your hand and ask the Great Teacher to let you test again. I promise He will let you, for He has laid down His life for your success.
-Your fellow classmate
Rob Parker is the Director of Partnership Development at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City where he has served as an instructor and trainer in their staff development since 2006. To interact or connect further with Rob you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org