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Monday, July 29, 2013

Marriage Takes Three

I’m grateful for God’s grace.

I soooo don’t deserve it.

Let me give you a personal example of how awesome God is.

I grew up in a Christian home.

I’ve been a Christian for over half my life.

And yet my view of marriage was anything BUT Biblical.

I entered my marriage with a completely distorted view of how it should operate. Contrary as night and day from how God designed it to be. 

I remember a sociology professor of mine saying “marriage is what keeps you together when you fall in and out of love.” (Click to tweet

That’s as close to a Biblical foundation as I had when I entered my marriage.

Marriage was to be forever. 

I wouldn’t always love- or even like -my spouse. But divorce wasn’t an option. 

However, all the verses about submissiveness went in one ear and out the other.

I was NOT going to be dominated (shows how little I understood of love).

I even struggled with changing my name.

I had this strange belief that I’d lose part of my identity if I replaced my last name with his.

Thank God my attitude and beliefs were “enlightened”.

I’m so thankful that when my spouse and I said “I do”, God echoed our vows and added His covenant “I do” making it a threefold cord. It was that basic foundation that helped us grow together as God intended. Without His joining our union I’m not sure we would have lasted a year.

You see, earthly love doesn’t always last. 

Love alone can’t be the glue that binds two hearts throughout this life. Because human love is fickle.

But marriages that have God holding the covenant together can withstand any storm. 

Bonhoeffer has this to say about marriage, “…love comes from you, marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from on, the marriage that sustains your love.” (emphasis mine)

Marriage is designed to be a Holy union between two people. When we say, “I do” we are entering a covenant and covenants are meant to be forever. Without God adding His “I do” we risk facing defeat.

But when we allow God to bind our marriages, He will ensure our love can withstand the test of time, because it isn’t based solely on human emotional love but on His unconditional love to guide and keep us.

Matt 19:6 says, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” 

Bonhoeffer goes on to say, God joins you together in marriage; it is his act, not yours. Do not confound your love for one another with God. God makes your marriage indissolvable, and protects it from every danger that may threaten it within and without.”  (emphasis mine)

As I said above, I’m grateful for God’s grace.

While I didn’t understand the covenant I was entering when I said, “I do”, God did and He blessed it anyway. 

We don’t always have to understand. In fact, we rarely do. But when we add God to anything it’s going to turn out better than if we left Him out. (please tweet)

My marriage is a great example of how God blesses ignorance, stubbornness, and willful disobedience.

Daily I’m learning the art of being a wife and mother.

I’m learning that submission doesn’t equate being dominated. 

I’m learning the joy of making a house into a home.

As Bonhoeffer so beautifully says, “…the earthly home (is) an image of the heavenly home, the earthly family a symbol of the fatherhood of God over all men, for they are his children.” 

Maybe you’re like me and your marriage didn’t start off on a solid foundation. Maybe you’re like so many I know who are barely holding the marriage together.

If so, please take Bonhoeffers words to heart. God holds your marriage together. You don’t have to.

Just include Him in your love (or sometimes lack thereof) and He will bless it. 

“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day2 Tim 1:12b

It’s not just our salvation we can trust God to keep. We can trust Him with our marriages as well as our families. He is faithful to complete what He began. And God loves to begin and sustain marriages.

“Marriage is more than your love…it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time.” Bonhoeffer.

God bless. 

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