God is warning us that the greatest danger to your marriage or relationship or family is not an affair, addiction, or a mistake. It is isolation and independence from one another - everything else is a symptom of that greater danger.

See marriage is not about surrendering your identity, desires, hopes, or dreams to your partner. It's about surrendering the idea of pursuing those things in isolation. You are still complete person God made you to be, and when you get married, you're simply not alone anymore. You and your partner are now two halves of a whole.

If you try to live and make decisions like you are alone, it's only a matter of time until you ARE alone - sometimes literally, but always emotionally and relationally - and that's a dangerous road to travel.

So think about your relationships. Is there anything going on, that you think is "no big deal," but if it keeps on going, has the potential to lead to a horrible, painful conversation?

Would independence and isolation describe your marriage, your family, your home?  Has "echad/oneness" left the building and been replaced by, "I do my thing and they do theirs" or "that's none of their business?"

God's Word tells us to wake up - to repent. It takes two to make a relationship work, and if you are thinking only for yourself, then you need to change your mindset and direction. It's not just about saying "I am sorry" It's about wanting things to change for the better, being willing to do everything in your power to make that change happen, and trusting that God will give you the strength and guidance you need to succeed.

Un-Dragon Your Life

Are you willing to change your mind about how your life and relationship has been going and walk a different path? If you are saying, "I don't know if I can do that - change, act different, and be different than who I am. I think what you're saying is, I can't "un-dragon" myself.

I've been married for 25 years. I still don't have it down very well, and I still mess up, but I am willing to admit that I'm still learning. I'm not going to accept that relationship-killing line, "That's just the way it is and it's never going to change." This is why I hope Jesus keeps on ripping more and more layers away; He's my only hope and chance of not messing everything up.

If we take ownership of our mistakes, stop making excuses, admit our faults, and ask for forgiveness from God and whoever you've sinned against, I promise that God will forgive you.

One of my favorite parts of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is when Aslan frees Eustace from the dragon, picks him up, and throws him in the water - it is symbolic of washing all his past, his "dragon-ness," away.

It is also symbolic of baptism.  Baptism doesn't save you, change you, un-dragon you, or earn you forgiveness. Only Jesus can do that. Baptism is just a gift that Jesus gives us as an outward display that we are letting go of our past, that Jesus is changing us and we're with him now, walking with Him.

My tattoo doesn't change anything. It simply reminds me to include Robin in my decisions. This ring doesn't make me married; it just reminds me that I'm one with Robin. And baptism doesn't save you, it just reminds you that you already are.

Sin messes up "one-ness," or "echad," and the only way back is by changing our minds, asking God to change us - asking Him to un-dragon us.  It might be painful.  It might hurt.  Asking for forgiveness is never easy.  But once you pull those layers off, you'll be changed forever.

You want to show your spouse and your kids that you are serious about loving them by loving God?  The humbly be the first to be the first in your family to un-dragon yourself.

Joshua 24:15…As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Jim Burgen is the senior pastor at Flatirons Community Church, a non-denominational evangelical megachurch in Denver, Colorado with more than 7,000 members. He is a graduate of Milligan College and a youth ministry veteran. Flatirons Church identifies with all people, whoever they are & whatever problems they have, and offers an unconditionally loving & safe place.
This article originally appeared at NarniaFaith.com. Visit Crosswalk.com's Narnia page here.

Publication date: November 16, 2010