Feb. 16 - David and Theresa Mabry - Marriage is Partnering
On Sunday, we discussed a topic that isn't a new concept to us. In fact, it's proclaimed by motivational posters in classrooms across America. Two heads are better than one. Teamwork makes the dream work. Many hands make light work. Heck, even double your pleasure with Doublemint Gum. David and Theresa Mabry continued their sermon series by focusing on an essential aspect of marriage, partnership. However they took it much further than most conversations on partnerships by explaining why God designed the matrimonial partnership in the first place.
Think of the couples you know within the church. Those who serve together, mentor together, foster children together, lead ministries together, go on missions trips together. These couples ARE the Church. God created marriage to be not only a symbol of Christ and the Church, but to actually BE the Church. As you can see by observing these God-honoring couples, a Christian marriage embodies all the attributes of the Church.
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
As this passage describes, marriage is an essential part of the Church, but it also can be thought of as a “local” expression of the Church Universal, just as Newstart is a “local” branch of the Church. These parts are better together than separate. Each celebrates and capitalizes on the differences of the other. Each shares in the joys and sufferings of the other.
This following list of functions describes the Church. But when a marriage is lived out as God intended it, we'll find these just as easily describe their partnership:
Share New Life in Christ Together
Grow and Help Others Grow Together
Love God Together
Love Others Together
The Church is a force to be reckoned with. And when marriage is acting as the local Church, it is also a force to be reckoned with. If you're married, take time to have a discussion with your spouse about how you are partnering to have a great impact on the world around you. God didn't create marriage for two people to make themselves happier. He created it to affect his Kingdom in major ways!