The next season of Married at First Sight (MAFS) is about to hit your screen. The promos have started. The final and climactic line in one ad has a bride saying in her wedding day vows: “…my new forever begins here today with you.”
MAFS was Australia’s highest-rated (most watched) TV show for the past two years. Another tagline from the promo captures the essence of the plot. “I gave up my family, my friends, my job because I wanted to find love.” Finding that special someone is the ultimate and yet elusive piece of the puzzle of life.
Back to our bride with her promises to her “new forever”. Doesn’t it make your heart melt?? Aww – how sweet. Hmm - not me. My immediate question is this: What happened to your old forever?
I presume this bride has been there before. She made similar promises previously. How many forevers can you have? What happens if this ‘experiment’ does not work? Will the next one be her ‘new new forever’?
Behind this vow of committing to a new forever sits a deep assumption. That the past is in the past. That we can have a fresh start. That what I feel and believe about me today, is who I am. We are a ‘no regrets’ culture. Mistakes are no longer mistakes – they are an opportunity to learn. We imagine that if we reframe the past as a learning opportunity, we can move, free from any ongoing consequences.
Contrast this with a conversation I had with several non-Christians this week. All were whinging about divorces. The lies, the disputes over money and access to children, and the lawyers’ fees. There was deep bitterness, not an absence of regrets.
The forgiveness we find in Jesus is the closest thing to a fresh start we will ever find. And yet the struggle remains. Peter’s impulsiveness, Judas’ greed, David’s lust… these old temptations have a way of sneaking up on us – even later in life.
The old has gone, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17), and yet we must continually put off the old self (Eph 4:22). Keep up the good fight!
Rev David Rietveld
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