Feb. 23 - Marriage is Enduring
Throughout February we’ve discussed various aspects of biblical marriage. On Sunday Greg closed out the series by sharing the enduring properties of marriage. He started with an example from Scripture of clay jars:
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
As Christians, our duty is to have a marriage that focuses on the treasure within our clay jars, rather than on the jar itself. Our goal should be a marriage that pursues Christ instead of one in which we each pursue our own desires. Certainly God wants us to have joy in marriage but, for a marriage to stand the test of time, He wants us to seek Him as our source rather than looking to our spouse to fulfill all our needs.
Take a sincere look at your marriage. Do you find yourself in petty arguments because you feel you’re not being served the way you feel you deserve? Is there unresolved resentment or bitterness between you and your spouse? Does one (or both) partner feel degraded or hurt by the way they’re treated or spoken to? Do others look at your relationship and say “I’m glad that’s not us.”
Or are you a couple who truly loves each other through thick and thin, for better or for worse? Do you honor one another with your words and actions? Do you love your spouse as Christ loves the Church? Do people see your relationship and say, “That’s what I want for myself and my children.”
And a great question - Do people ask you why your marriage is so good, or how you got so lucky? There it is! That’s your opportunity to share the Gospel!
God uses our marriage to spread the Good News, so it’s our job to stay deeply connected to Christ to allow Him to do that. It is our responsibility to let people see God through us, and we can accomplish this by using our marriage as a great tool for the Kingdom. Even the most God-honoring couple will occasionally find themselves in conflict, so how can they navigate the issues in a way that reflects Christ? Look to the following two verses for the answer:
Colossians 3:12-15 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
For a marriage to successfully last a lifetime, it takes love, commitment, endurance, faith, and a lot of prayer. Allow Christ to be the cornerstone of your home and lift your spouse up in prayer daily. If you are struggling in your marriage or just want some tools to enrich your relationship, reach out to Newstart's Marriage Ministry. They would love to walk alongside you and your spouse, encouraging you, celebrating your successes, and providing you with resources you need to navigate the difficult seasons.