Sunday, 22 May 2011

Some more thoughts on Marriage

2. Marriage is Worth it’s Weight

Marriage is valuable. It is precious. That is why it is worth waiting for because it is so important and should be treasured.

In Hebrews 13:4 we are told that marriage should be honoured by all. Or in the New Living Translation, we should give honour to marriage.

In our western culture, marriage is considered disposable. Something that we’ll stick with as long as it keeps us happy and we’re enjoying it, but there’s always a way out if we need it.

This was not God’s original idea. In fact in Malachi 2:16 it says, ‘“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel’. Divorce is not a convenience to God. God literally sees a married couple as ‘no longer two but one flesh’ (Matt 19:5, Gen 2:24, Eph 5:31). You cannot easily separate one flesh without a huge amount of pain and damage. Even if you do it surgically with pain relief. There will always be scars, and part of you will never be the same again. Which is why God created marriage to be permanent.

Our marriages are designed to be an example to the world of God’s love for us (Ephesians 5:22-33). The way we love our spouses and families is to be part of our light shining in the world (John 13:34-35). It is the place to bring up children, to share life’s ups and downs, to support one another, to welcome those without families. It is the place where we are free to be who God created us to be because there is a love and security that is based in God’s love for us.

That’s why, in the words of Cheryl Cole…’we gotta fight (fight, fight, fight) fight for this love…if it’s worth having it’s worth fighting for’!

We’ve got to see our marriages as God sees them. We have to give them the value/honour/significance that He gives them. We have to prioritise them and give them the time and attention that they need. And we have to support and encourage each other in our marriages. We have the potential to share the gospel in and through our marriages.

Even when we feel our marriages are struggling, broken or over, God can bring tremendous blessing and healing, not only to restore but renew and refresh our marriages (Matthew 19:26). He wants them to be the best marriages that they can be. For us, for our children, for our families and for all those we encounter in life.

It is possible to have a lifelong and happy marriage and there is a deep joy that comes from a faithful and pure marriage. The secret is for both the husband and wife to be submitted to God and to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot do marriage without God. You only need to look at the statistics to see that.

I love reading Ephesians 3:20 –

‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us’

Try and imagine the greatest marriage that you could have. The love, security, joy, hope…God can do that and more! How amazing is that! All we have to do is allow Him to work in us. That’s not always easy. Being refined, moulded, cleansed is a painful process (think of bashing stains out of clothes in a big wooden drum. Not adding a sachet of stain remover and turning the washing machine on). But through it we, and our marriages, can shine and bring praise to God. There can be glory in the broken, beauty in the mended and power in restoration.

If you are married – how do you view your marriage? Is it valuable and precious to you? Do you give it the time and priority that it deserves? Are there areas that you need God’s wisdom, help, and encouragement? Is there brokenness or hurt that needs to be restored and healed?

If you’re not married but think that one day you would like to be – what are your hopes and dreams for your future marriage? What can you do now to help cultivate the value and honour that marriage deserves and requires? Is there a married couple that you can come alongside and learn from whilst honouring and encouraging?

If you’re not married and aren’t fussed whether you will get married or don’t particularly long to get married - Are there married couples that you can come alongside to honour, support and encourage?

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