Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday's Thoughts on Marriage

This is number 9 in a weekly series begun on December 21st/13 with a post called, “Married Forever?

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Ah submission the dirtiest word in secular relationships. That's okay. Let them fight for their own rights. Let them demand change in their partners while demanding that their spouses accept them as they are. How functional atheists live their lives has nothing to do with us. On the other hand, I hope I'm getting the point across that our behaviours don't determine our character. Rather, our character determines our behaviours. When the Holy Spirit indwells us, when we abide in Jesus, our character becomes like that of Jesus. Humility and submission were two strong, strong characteristics of Jesus.

The fact is the ability to submit, the power and strength to submit our will to another is a sign that the Holy Spirit resides within. Submission to one another is a sign that you are being guided by the will and the wishes of Creator God. Humility (which the world wrongly associates with humiliation) along with the absence of pride (which the world sees as some sort of affliction) and a lack of self-will (which the world associates with social and economic suicide), is what allows couples in a Biblical marriage to show love to one another. In fact, the behaviours of love are actually the duties of husbands and wives in a Biblical marriage. It is only through a Holy Spirit guided ability to serve your spouse that you will be able to meet and overcome the hurdles that so often trip up marriages run by what passes for human wisdom.

Characteristics of those guided by the Holy Spirit are well known among those indwelt by Him: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. These are the characteristics of Jesus and if you think about these for a moment, you will quickly see how each one is indispensable to a strong and stable marriage. We must allow ourselves to be transformed into the character of Jesus if we are to live out and model marriage as God intends for us. Anything less makes a mockery of stating that we are followers of Jesus.

Even though the circumstances of life change, the character of Jesus does not. That is what creates the ever present stability in a Biblical marriage. With these characteristics present in each partner, it's easy to see that these are not two needy people looking to someone else to solve their own insecurities or to give them value and worth. That's because they already possess these things because of their relationship with and the indwelling Spirit of Jesus. 

We function at our best on the indwelling strength and power of God's Spirit. 

We do not draw life from our partner. Unlike secular lives which produce songs claiming to “need you,” “I can't live without you,” etc., a follower of Jesus has learned that the worship of our Creator produces a human who is fully alive. That is what allows us to be the kind of people that our spouse deserves. To not draw our strength from God causes us to demand from our spouses something that is impossible for them to give.

More on this next Friday.

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