Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 1, 2015
And the Spirit makes it possible to submit humbly to one another out of respect for the Anointed [Christ]. Ephesians 5:21, The Voice
Our youngest daughter Anna Grace was married May 16, 2015. With very mixed emotions I gave her away, and along with my son-in-law Tripp—I officiated the ceremony. Rita and I wept tears of gratitude to God for giving us the opportunity to witness His work in Tyler and Anna’s commitment to Christ and one another. 175 friends and family joined us at the Engine Room (a renovated cotton warehouse) to celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness. While fresh on my mind here are my reflections on how a wedding is preparation for marriage. A celebration and consecration!
Submit to Christ
Jesus is the mediator between God and man and He is the mediator in marriage. What does God’s love require of us? This is the default question for a marriage that honors Jesus. Couples who worship Jesus together are drawn closer together. A husband and wife who love Christ have a deeper love for one another. Men and women who pray together tend to stay together. Their affections grow deeper, because they focus their hearts on things above… “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).
Read the Bible as God’s Love Story
The Bible contains do’s and don’ts we are wise to follow. It is a marriage manual that instructs us in how to have healthy emotional and relational interactions. But mostly, Holy Scripture is the simple story of our heavenly Father’s love for us and how we fit into His love story. The love story of our marriage is part of the Lord’s larger story of unconditional love. God’s son died and rose again so we might die to ourselves and rise with Him. We are loved extravagantly so we might love extravagantly. Love covers sin and builds strong marriages.
The Wedding is an Event but Marriage is a Process
We spend time and money to plan an incredible wedding celebration, but it’s just the launching pad for a lifelong marriage learning process. Pre-marital counseling from marriage mentors begins the process of how to communicate well, forgive fast, outserve one another and celebrate and embrace each other’s differences. Each season of marriage requires new skills. Community with family and fellow Christ followers creates a healthy culture for nurturing a marriage. Be a student of your spouse. Learn how they like to be loved. Patiently stay in a prayerful process.
Set a High Standard
As the world dumbs down marriage, Jesus followers are called to elevate marriage. The lofty word picture of Jesus as our bridegroom and the church as His bride is the high standard heaven has for marriage. A husband gives himself up for his wife and loves her as Christ gave Himself up for the church. A wife respects and follows her husband as she submits to and follows Christ. Even in our imperfection, we still aspire to God’s perfect goals for marriage. Humble hearts receive God’s grace to do God’s will. We receive the Lord’s love, so we can love well.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, educate me as a student of You and of my spouse. I want to love her/him well.
Post/Tweet this today: The love story of our marriage is part of the Lord’s larger story of unconditional love. #marriagelessons #wisdomhunters
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