Friday, October 9, 2020

Show Me The Love

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” —Ephesians 5:25-29

I participate in a ministry meeting each Monday. Part of the routine is for each of us to say one good thing that happened personally and one that happened ministry wise.  I shared that Martie was getting some better from her spinal surgery and after almost a year, we were finally able to sit next to each other. The married guys in the meeting looked the other way and the women all said how sweet that was. Listen – if you are married, then the person you are married to should be the most significant person on the planet to you. Because, if you are married, you are joined together as one flesh. You have made a love commitment to that person and God should be in the center of that relationship.  Why would you not want to be with them? Why would you not want to sit next to them?

The verses preceding the ones I quoted speak to the issue of submission – submission in our culture is a four letter word! It has a negative connotation.  It means vulnerable, likely to be taken advantage of. The Bible says we are to submit to the Lord, to the Spirit, to one another, and, yes, that includes wives to their husbands …. But as to one another .. husbands to their wives.  Ephesians 5 speaks to how the family unit is to function. God has designated the man – the husband – as the head of the family.  That means that he is primarily responsible for the well-being – physically and spiritually – of the family.  That means that he is to love his wife just like Jesus loved the Body of Christ and made the ultimate sacrifice.  Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially – to lay down their lives.

No greater love has one man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

How much more for the person you have declared is the most significant person on this planet. I know that for some reading this, that is not how the marriage worked out.  That level of love was not there. It might be because God was never part of the union. Getting married in a church does not make a God-honoring marriage anymore than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.  It could be that there was an uneven yoke – one was a Christian and one was not.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

When Martie and I got married, 48, almost 49, years ago neither of us were born again. It is by God’s grace that we each were born again on the same night kneeling at our bed next to each other. Yes, next to each other. My mom married my dad for the wrong reasons and that marriage ended in divorce. It was not until 17 years later would she be born again as would her second husband and my spiritual father. My point is there is opportunity for redemption. Jesus died for all sin. Sin is doing that which is contrary to the God’s design. I am certain that you have heard the phrase “That will leave a mark.” After someone falls or is injured in some way.  Divorce always leaves a mark.  The ones who are divorced may want to deny it. They may convince themselves that their children will be OK, but it leaves a mark. God does not erase the mark, but He does apply balm to the wound. 

I remember when I was in high school that I tried to talk to my mom about how the divorce had marked my life. She told me to stop trying to make her feel guilty.  With divorce comes regrets and perhaps guilt. God can bring healing, but He may not restore a broken relationship.  In my life I have seldom seen that a happen.  But he can and will bring healing, although there may be a mark – a scar – from the wound.

When I started typing this I did not know that this is where the devotion was headed. But, still, it is about love and a love relationship. It is about God’s intent and man’s corruption of that intent. About a culture’s attempt to gloss it over and pretend that the corruption is normal – even unavoidable.  When you read about a movie star that has been married five times – what did you think? Are your sad for them because they are looking for something that cannot be found in the place they are looking? Or do you think – that is just the way celebrities live – that is normal celebrity life. It’s not. Inside, they are no different than you and me. When they are alone – away from the attention – they are just like you and me. And their choices have left an indelible mark – one that all the fame and money cannot cover up. But God can bring healing.

We all need Jesus.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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