"It is a deal maker!"
"That was a deal breaker."
Marriage isn't a used car lot, nor is it a game show. We are not married to make deals. But too often we think that we do.
The devil, when he tempted Jesus, tried to make deals. God told him no.
Throughout the Bible we read about people bargaining and making deals both with God and with themselves, and with each other. Rebecca and Leah were victims of deals made by their husband and father. Daughters and sons paid the price for deals their parents made.
Marriages are not made that way. People are not made that way.
I see so much stress and hurt in marriages, in friendships, when there is an unstated, or even openly expressed deal.
You do this and that lets me do that.
I give you this so I can get that.
Promises broken. Hearts hurt. And we cry: that wasn't the deal!
A deal in business is an agreement with mutual benefit to all parties. Sharp dealing is when one party makes something seem better than it is to the other party. There is an implied contract of conduct and outcome. Sometimes we have to work hard to make a deal happen.
We don't have to make deals with God.
We can't make deals with God.
It doesn't work that way. We had a debt worth our lives, and it was paid by Holy blood. For eternity. No deals. Accept the payment, or don't. God seeks all hearts to repent and return to Him. He won't make deals to get you to come to Him.
God teaches us to love one another, as He loves us. No deals.
God teaches us our marriages should be filled with the same love. No deals.
I will love you more if you loose the weight, get job, let me play video games all weekend, buy that toy I want, or buy you things you like. I will love you if you do something for me.
Our children try to make deals. A child is a naturally talented deal maker with a cute factor that is hard to resist. But as parents we know we have to resist.
Our spouses might want to make deals. I want to go out for supper, she says. He says, what is in it for me? He wants X and she expects Y for letting him have X. The let's make a deal, dear game is on.
It isn't always for mutual benefit. Often the deal is done for control and sometimes in anger. If someone feels their deal has been broken the first thought that comes to mind is often payback. You owe me.
He did something she didn't want him to. So she 'cuts him off' from their marriage bed.
She went against his wishes and in his hurt he does something to hurt her back.
The deal is a dangerous trap for a marriage to live in. It implies that there is always a negotiation going on, and there is both a benefit and a cost to the 'deal'.
The biggest danger in the deal is that THERE IS NO ROOM FOR GRACE. There is no forgiveness in the deal. There is no mercy. There is no redemption.
Renounce your faith and you can live. The deal - give up God and stay alive.
Give in to temptation and be satisfied. The deal - when sin is easy, easy is right.
There are a whole Bible full of examples of deals gone bad and a whole love story without a single deal that saves us. Redeems us. Buys us back from the grave. Gives us the model for parenting. For marriage. For service. For everything. No deals.
The wages of sin are death.
The Son comes, and bears our burden and our sin, and lets us come to the Father clean.
That was no deal. He asked nothing of us but to accept Him and the sacrifice of redemption.
The temptation is great, the worldly models many, to make a deal. Make the deal work. Know what your deal breaker is. These are not what God teaches. This is what the dark one, in the world, tempts us with.
Do you struggle with deal making? How do you manage the temptation to deal make? Please share below in the comments.