Monday, December 13, 2010

Married for God - Chapter 8

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

Chapter 8: What is the heart of marriage?

Up till now, we have been asking the ‘why?’ question – what is the point of sex and marriage. However, now it is time to look at the heart of marriage: faithfulness.

Our God loves us with a faithful, steadfast love:
Faithful steadfast love is the heart of marriage, for faithful steadfast love is the heart of the universe. The faithful steadfast passionate Lover God calls men and women to show faithful steadfast passionate love in their marriages. (p145)
This is a great chapter – it gets to the core of marriage and what is really important.
  • Marriage is a ‘one-flesh’ union joined by God. It creates a new family unit. We must not tear apart what God has joined together. The husband or wife must not put themselves before the marriage – their career, comfort or personal fulfilment. Others also must not come between a marriage – and this includes over-involved parents and employers who want more than their ‘pound of flesh’.
  • Marriage is a covenant to which God is a witness. God is present when promises are made and he holds us accountable to keep those promises.
  • Marriage faithfulness excludes all rivals for life. He then follows this with reasons why adultery is very serious. It’s sobering reading: adultery is turning away from a promise, it is secretive and dishonest, it destroys the adulterer, it damages society and it hurts children. I think Lesley Ramsay added a very astute extra point when she reviewed this book– it devastates the marriage partner. Anyone who has seen the consequences of adultery first hand cannot help but agree with all of these with great sadness in their heart.
  • Faithfulness in marriage is modelled on the faithfulness of God. God’s faithfulness to his people has remained strong throughout their continued rebellion and faithlessness. He is forgiving, and in showing his forgiveness for us, he has modelled true costly forgiveness that we also will need in our marriages.
  • Faithfulness in marriage comes from the faithfulness of God – God is faithful and pours his grace and faithfulness into me, if I come to him and trust him. It is only through his grace that we can live this way.
What you and I need most of all is to know the steadfast faithful love of the God who has never broken a promise yet. He kept every promise he has ever made when he sent his son Jesus Christ to die in our place. He is utterly faithful and trustworthy. If we will turn afresh to him and come to him in trusting obedience, we can rest our security in his mercy. And on that basis, building on that security, we will be well placed to show faithfulness in marriage, to offer forgiveness when hurt and to welcome back with tenderness even when things are at their most painful. (p162)

Do you realise that it is faithfulness that is at the core of marriage?

Do you talk about the commitment to faithfulness in marriage preparation with couples?

Do you warn couples of the dreadful consequences (yet still sometimes tempting lure) of adultery? And then give them practical ways to flee such temptation?

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