Monday, October 13, 2014

Can a wedding and a marriage make an impact? Sure they can.

A Christ-centered marriage.. you know one with wise maturity yet child-like (not childish) J O Y, with curiosity, with good adventure explorin' new places, with learnin' what's so.. with carefree innocence, with lots of hearty laughter, with agape-friendship, with arms lifted up to the Father in glad-surrender, with pure simplicity.. all that's a good witness in this corrupt, impure, broken and very lonely kind of world. 
Yup, Christ is literally the holy Groom of all grooms that thought up romance, weddings and marriage. And He is the One that has never for even one second quit lovin' His bride, and this world of empty, guilty, misinformed, confused and fearful people is longing for His kinda Love. They dream until their dreams are crushed. They are posting and over-posting in social media.. for such love ..looking in all the wrong places for it and can't seem to find. Ya gotta feel for em!   

"'Cause when the singin' begins, are there enough words to even describe it? / Nope! / I can hear a symphony inside! / So lovely, so SO honest, so very tender, so romantic! / And I'm sort of swallowed up in beautiful sounds as His song echoes on through me. / Hey, I'm already awakened and renewed by His intimate words and love. / Are you as well? / For He is real love, He is warmly accepting, He is intimate, appropriate, strong and embracing—my personal grace. / Feelin' grateful! / Yes, right now He's my deeply satisfying comfort, my Chief focus, my master-passion, my loyal Friend, my encouragement and healing. / Nothin' better than experiencing such amazing charity—the solace of Heaven! / How can I explain? / Very touching to me. / Oh how we feel it!.. and are much alive inside. / My spirit leaps, my soul joins in. / Want to please Him right, my bride and I. / We're headed towards a big happy wedding together; a royal feast of joy with laughter! / And together we'll live happily ever after, the bride with her Groom. / Not pullin' your leg; it's no lame fairy tale or fable. / This dance if ya will, is for you!" ~ kVs

Yesterday a sweet Hispanic lady that was mopping the floor in a public place nearby, one with three little children at home who just suffered through a horrible divorce (the ex-husband is still drinking too much..) told us, "I never want to get married again!.. but I so want a marriage like yours." Didn't expect to hear that. Kinda caught us (at least it did me..) off guard. 

It's cuz I know I have a long long way to go in bein' a Christian husband. My wife is a better Christian than I am. Been bullheaded stubborn and selfish at times. I have been. Hate that! 

Her words humbled me and they make me want to seek the Lord all the more, for He is a perfect groom. Sure Liney and I enjoy praying together, going to a healthy church together, reading through the Word together. But I was just thinkin' yesterday about how when I was single me and my college roommates used to take turns cleaning up the bathrooms and house. Well, as a married person, I always try to clean up some of the kitchen and some of the bathroom, but I cannot remember even one time when I cleaned up an entire bathroom at home all alone. Been busy with other stuff, been impractical and I have been selfish or proud or both. I have been. Not her. But my flesh wants other believers at church to think that I pray more than I do, that I study truth more than I do, that I serve her and others more than I really do. Man, I honestly owe my wife, Liney, an apology, a thank you for putting up with me kiss, and some help around our house. Minister in the Bible means servant. I didn't know that clean clear water drops on the counter in the kitchen or in the bathroom do not leave a clean counter top. I learned the toilet seat down thing, but it took me years to discover that a dresser drawer that I close on a sock that's sicking out some inches, does not leave a drawer closed behind me. I always thought it did. And if I have missed these bathroom and kitchen things for 33 years ..especially cleaning one up all by myself.. I just know there must be many other things that God and Liney know..that I have totally missed. And she's not a nag really. And yet he keeps forgiving me. And she keeps forgiving me. I am so blessed to have her. 

To tell you how I feel.. I really want a marriage like Jesus will one day soon.. have. And I'm already so blessed with my wife as it is! But I want to be learn and grow and mature more. I so need to become more like Him, the example bridegroom! He was a servant, a man's man, a guy who didn't mind getting down on his knees to wash people's dirty feet. Not sure where you're at and do want to be respectful here. May I ask you a question? Are you single or married? Are you a growing believer and married? It's always Always  A L W A Y S  too early for two married Christians to be disloyal and quit. Please keep praying about your needs together and depending upon the Lord to guide you. Lean heavily upon Him. Keep seeking out Bible-based fellowship together.. with spiritually mature believers wanting to grow. He (God) brought you together for such a time as this.. yes, because He loves you, He really wants to bless you together, and because He knows He can use you to make a lasting impact for His glory. So many are hurting around us. 

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

God's gracious loyalty and faithfulness to us needs to be ..simply must be.. the inner motivation for us to be loyal and faithful by that very same grace.  He is there to help you two. 

Never forget that marriage is a unification of two sinners. If you have children—a family together, it'll be one with very much loved sinners in it. You know that no one is perfect in any marriage or family down here. What Christian hasn't at one time or another been a hypocrite? What person in the world hasn't been (not saying any of us should not hate hypocrisy)?

God is glorified when He leads two forgiven, spiritual believers together.. not carnal, lukewarm or unequally yoked.. and they continue on in His love towards the alter according to His Word and timing. He is glorified when they can pray together and in love continue to build a home upon His unchanging word. It's on old truth, not on new revelation.

Sure, there will be times when a female wife and her male husband will sin and say or do something hurtful. I sure hope it won't be a decision that literally destroys your beautiful marriage bond. We see that happening too much with those who choose to do it their own way instead of God's way. Though we hate sin and try to avoid sin at all costs, we all still sin at times and we simply need to "admit it and quit it." We need to quickly get back up, forgive each other, and together walk with Christ in victory. It's important to remember God's definition of love that we so clearly see in 1 Corinthians 13, and know that loving each other deeply can cover all those sins. Do you get alone pray through that chapter (as well as through other Bible passages on love) so that you'll have more love from God who is love? Why not?

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

Two praying together can simply be stronger than one standing alone. Sure! Two united in a Christ-centered marriage together can of course be stronger than unregenerate married people united in their purpose minus having God inside each. It's because God is the Strong one—Almighty is He. It would appear to me that the three cords in this verse represent a righteous groom, a righteous bride (two forgiven sinners of the opposite sex), and a strong God who led them together to bless em and for His world-changing purpose. These three form a close intimate relationship that is not easily broken in a broken world.

When this world's system, the ole fleshly nature inside (we all still contend with the flesh that wants us to do what it wants us to do..) and real devils along with our corrupt society are all absolutely opposed to you building a strong marriage and or family that does things right.. it's really not bad to have Someone in your corner Who is stronger.. Who is involved and on your side with your bests interests at heart.   

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." Mark 10:9

R.C Sproul Jr lost his dear friend; His beloved wife after her tough battle with cancer back in 2012. I hate cancer! But it's interesting what he shared his greatest regret in his whole marriage was: “That is likely my deepest regret, that I did not hold her hand more.” ~ RCS

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  And God blessed them.  And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" Genesis 1:27-28

Could the Lord mean that two people (a male and a female.. not first living or sleepin' together before marriage, or with others after their wedding) be united by Him in marriage in a way that totally glories God? Sure. Does He mean they could each live harmoniously with Him as Lord in practice.. not just in theory.. with the fruit of the Spirit just like we see in Galatians 5, and that they.. we each consistently walk in the fruit of love like we see in 1 Corinthians 13, and that they / we together by faith and explaining the Gospel Message clearly.. see the fruit of a harvest that Christ literally will use to win and disciple others for the Father? Sure! Be fruitful in Christ. And you really don't have to wait 'til you are married to start planting seeds of faith or start winning others to faith in Christ. Singles, marrieds, start prayin' and doing this today!  

"For I know the plans I have for you, 'Declare The Lord,' plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

He cares for you, He knows the way.. cuz He is the way for you. Jesus told us He is the way, the truth and the life and no one anywhere gets into heaven apart from Him. And He is to be the third Strand in a marriage so to speak. Invite Him in. These words above from Jeremiah show us the tender heart of God towards us—His valued humanity that He redeemed. It was on the Cross at Calvary. But He's alive again.. and for you.

We do not know all the that He has planned for us, but God does have a good plan for our future and we can trust Him to strengthen and use us day by day. Have you yet given your life or your marriage over to the One who thought it all up?
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