I very much enjoy doing pre-marital counseling with couples. It’s a special privilege to be invited into a relationship like that and a real honor to help folks in such a big transition. During this counseling, I always have couples work through a “love-languages” exercise where they, individually, prioritize a list of 8 different options based on their preferences and personality. They also have to “guess” how their fiancé will order and prioritize the same list. In 2o years of pre-marital counseling, I think I have only had one couple who guessed the other’s answers correctly. 99.9% of the time couples get it wrong. This exercise and discovery are always rather unsettling to couples, but I always assure them that everyone does this and that this is exactly why pre-marital counseling is important! The error that everybody makes is to assume that the person they love (and want to marry) loves like they love. Of course, we know they don’t love exactly like we love, but still, we assume that it must be pretty close. This isn’t exclusively a marital dynamic. As human beings, we just have a tendency to assume that others think, love, evaluate, and see things just like we do.
This is why working (or struggling) through books like Amos is important. Amos is so unsettling because:
- It makes clear that God’s people (the Church) had gotten things about God really wrong.
- They believed that God loved and wanted the same things that they loved and wanted.
- They heard Amos’ message but concluded, “We’re good. He must be talking about ‘those people.'”
- They dismissed God/Amos and suffered the devastating consequence of God’s judgement – 70 years in exile as slaves in a foreign land.
Many passages of Scripture have a similar message from God, i. e., “Hey, you don’t actually love what I love!” Because it’s such a recurring caution in the Bible, we should regularly return to seriously consider it. But sometimes it takes camping-out in a whole book like Amos and having God address the issue again, and again, and again in order for us to slow down, drop back, and re-evaluate.
This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Devotionals we return to our series in Amos and pick back up in Amos 5:18-27. There are some very famous verses in this week’s passage. See if you can recognize and identify who made them so famous. I look forward to worshiping with you.
Yours in Christ’s love,