How does your marriage compare to God’s call? PIII

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Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

For us to be successful in life, in our relationship to God and with our spouses, we must respond to Christ with gratitude and love; then, we must be respectful and submit to one another. The key to a successful and vibrant marriage is the wife and husband respecting and loving each other, because our relationship is bound to our Lord.  We are not just the participants of the church, we are the church and we model it to the world, and we must show that our Gospel and love is real and sincere.  And the Christian marriage is a prime platform for the Gospels illustration! Love and respect are the two essential ways we can improve our relationship; this is the “marriage secret” to a happy and content marriage.  The husband cherishes his wife, regardless of his feelings, so she feels secure and valued, while the wife respects her husband, even when he does not deserve it.

In this way, both have an authentic mutual affection and admiration for one another. Which builds upon each other for the betterment and prevents and solves most ills.

Let’s look at the husband’s call, as it does apply to both. He is asked to do something greater, to love their wives, to be passionate and committed about their care and personhood, not just rely on feelings. To take the initiative to lead and to listen.  In ancient times, marriage contracts would advocate the husband to make his wife submit with absolute obedience.  Paul’s assertion to his churches and readers “to love,” and because of love to “submit,” was very radical.  To Paul, love was a duty.  To truly love someone was considered weak by the macho mindsets of the times as well as with many people today. Yet, love is not weak; it is building the strength of a relationship and the bond of a family by creating a mutual partnership (Amos 3:3; Mark 12:38; 1 Cor. 7:3-4; 13; 11:8-9)!

Love or cherisheth is the verb for love (Greek: agapete) designates a continuous routine of a devoted care action all of the time, not just when we feel like it.

Love is “symbiotic” as in mutually loving toward each other to build and improve each one’s relationship.  Here, a man loves a woman; she then submits because of his love.  This submission is a love in itself that becomes as “one flesh” (Eph. 2:4-7; 5:21-32; 1 John 4:7-21).

However, submission is misunderstood when it is viewed as abuse or subjection. In context, it is what God has for us, His fullness, His love that must be received and played forward to one another.  As a family and as a church.  God’s perfect plan, even in a corrupt culture, was always oneness and intimacy that were based on commitment and obedience.  Christ restores our true intimacy (Gen. 2:19-25; 1 Tim. 2:13-14).

We are to walk as people who are wise in the ways of the Lord and who are also on guard to the ways of the world.  We are to be careful how we live, so we treat our lives and others with love, dignity, and respect, especially our loved ones.

We must not to be careless with what is precious, people who are God’s precious children.  We are to make the most of our lives, and the opportunities He gives us.  To waste it away, and to treat others with disrespect or abuse is what a fool does; so, let us not be fools!   When we understand what the Lord wants us to do—and, by the way, this is not hard—we will do better in life.  It is not hard because what God is concerned with is our character.  We form our character from understanding, and putting into practice this fullness. Then, we will have healthy families in a healthy church.

 

How does your marriage compare to God’s call? PI

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“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25

If someone wrote a one-sentence summary of your marriage, what would it say? How does it compare to God’s call in Ephesians 4?

In our marriage, we must carefully and passionately listen to our Lord’s instructions and not our desires, so we live in and for Him and not in the ways of the world lest we think like people who love to sin.  If we are of the world–thinking as people who are “ok” with sin–dark thoughts will be ours.  Dark thoughts become our dark behaviors.  This way of life leads only to chaos, life’s upsets, and regrets with all the consequences and none of the perks.  This is life apart from God.  This is life away from God.  People who think and act in darkness have hardened their hearts; they are convicted.  They do not seek God as their eyes are turned only on “pleasures” and desires; they become filled with things like greed and immorality, and they lose real compassion and kindness.

This is not how and why our Lord came to set us free!  Christ, Our Savior, did not die and rise so that we would just sin more!

We have been given a gift that transforms our lives; let us act like it with His Truth and not the world’s wicked ways or our own self-centered motivations.  We can, by His empowerment, remove our old lives of sin and replace our mindset and actions with His principles that give us a better, more fulfilling life.  This is akin to removing filthy rotten rags and putting on the finest clothes.

Wearing our finest clothes, here means wearing the love and gratitude we have for Christ, creates better attitudes and character.  Crates a better marriage and a more content purposeful life. This demonstrates to others who we are in Christ–holy people created and called by a Holy God.  This holy life strives to be and is free from dysfunction, deceit, and depression.  In this, we can treat each other as well as others with respect and practice our faith with fruitfulness and character.  We can control our thoughts, words, and behaviors so we do not let our anger get out of control or fester.

We can keep ourselves from lying, stealing, fighting, irritation, being mean or bitter, all that we would be useful and productive not just for our marriage but also for the Kingdom, and not bow to the devil’s ways.

The Church must share these precepts and us build our relationships and family’s us, to help one another, work as a community in love, so we do not hurt the Holy Spirit.  We can forgive and move on and be the people we are called to be, as we are sealed by Christ’s redemption (Eph. 4:17-32)!

Our redemption also gives us an understanding, to think, and to have a desire for real Truth. Then a desire to have a healthier communication and mutual respect and love. Because this is Christ’s Truth in the action of our application. We are to think about Christ and consider what we have in Him to experience our new lives.  Then we will have transformed marriages, that are moving away from bitterness and dysfunction. Yes, we can sin and live as we please, we can ignore our spouse and be mean and live as we were never married, but what will that get us?  Paul emphatically fights this heinous notion.

We have no right to sin deliberately thinking, I am already forgiven so it is OK to sin (Col. 1:9; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 2:2)!

What can you learn from Ephesians 4 for your marriage?

In prayer, for the next forty days, read a few verses from Ephesians 4 each day, so you have read the chapter at least ten times. What is God telling you? Seek what you can do to put into practice the Christ-centered life?