Seeking Jesus First - June 22, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - June 22, 2023
Photo by Drew Coffman / Unsplash

Have you noticed that we treat our marriage as though it is as mature as our spouse? Our marriages need purposeful nurturing.

Over the years, the “norms” for marriage have shifted and people enter marriage knowing very little about how to succeed.

Some even have an escape plan, dooming the marriage from the start. A godly marriage lasts for a life time. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4, NKJV)

Most enter marriage with certain preconceived notions that are not necessarily aligned. So the beginning of a marriage becomes a difficult time of figuring things out together. If we grew up with similar family structure, with similar culture and religion, and we spent time discussing important issues, we might be able to minimize some of the difficulties.

How old is your marriage? If it were a baby, how much care would it need?

How much nurturing would you give it? Would you punish it when it wants to eat or when it poops or pees or some other fleshly function? When it makes a mess or or cries or screams or requires extra attention, will you get mad at it? Would you walk out on it?

You are treating your marriage the way you are treating each other. Instead of just responding to each other’s actions and words, respond to your marriage. Respond to your integrity. Respond to your relationship with Jesus. Respond to your love walk.

As parents, we have roles that need to be fulfilled for a child to grow up whole. Otherwise, when they grow up, they need deliverance and healing for the things we broke. As husband and wife, we have roles that need to be fulfilled as we “raise” our marriage.

The first role of each party is to die to self. This is not us killing each other. This is each submitting their will to God and to the marriage.

The husband lovingly sacrifices his very life for his wife. The wife respectfully sacrifices her life for her husband.

Love and respect are basic needs, respectively, that the Bible, in Ephesians 5, acknowledges are important. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” (Ephesians 5:25, NKJV) “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22, NKJV)

The husband focuses his efforts on loving his wife as he dies to self. The wife focuses her efforts on honoring her husband as she dies to self. This is not to say that both do not do both. It is to show that God made men and women differently.

The husband commits his emotions to his wife and the wife commits her will to her husband. So the wife leads in the matters of the heart and the husband leads in the matters of the will and Christ leads in the matters of the mind. We both, as believers, are submitted to Christ, have the mind of Christ and are being renewed daily in the spirit of our minds. Marriage is different for believers and non-believers because believers have a book that we have agreed to follow - The Bible.

The husband and wife become one even in the mind as they both adopt and adapt to the the mind of Christ for the way they think. They start to live and move and have their beings in Christ. The love that makes a marriage grow best is the love of God which floods our hearts by The Holy Ghost.

“He said, she said” is just an argument seeking self justification for the actions and flesh responses that did not align with faith, hope and love, and righteousness peace and joy. When we justify ourselves for a “flesh responses” to someone else’s “unloving flesh action”, we are acting according to the law of sin and death. This “tit for tat” way of living perpetuates unforgiveness and bitterness and gives in to the devil’s devices.

If you are single, consider compatibility and vision before getting married. If these are not aligned, they will pull you in different directions. Take time to understand who you are in Christ and where Christ is leading you. When you have received vision for your life, that vision will exclude everyone who does not align with it. A vision limits you to people with similar vision. Otherwise, you will be “unequally yoked” even if you are both believers.

If you want a good and loving marriage, the most important time is now. Now is not too early and it is not too late. Now is now. You are here so here is where you start or continue moving forward.

If you are married, then it is time to write a joint vision for your marriage. If you have a single vision that your spouse can not agree to, then you have to die to it (for now) and join together in a united vision. Sorry, but God can resurrect a dead vision later if it is appropriate to do so. A great marriage does not come from one person making all of the sacrifices and the other making all of the demands.

Take some time together and define the unified marriage vision. What role will God have? What will family look like? The husband? The wife? Children? Where will you live? What will work life look like? What will ministry look like? What do you want the marriage to look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? 30 years? Etc.

Important things have vision and purpose. When vision is present, marriages mature, become healthy and remain strong.