2015-07-05 - The Seventh Commandment
Strengthening our Relationships with Spouses and the Lord
So what are some ways we can strengthen marriages? It isn’t enough to make sure our marriage is in good shape. We also have a responsibility to strengthen one another’s. We have to show concern for marriages within the body. We must be supportive to those in trouble, and have to be willing to take action, when sin does overtake this relationship. And what are some of the ways we can strengthen our relationships with the Lord?
Our lives, then, should be typified by faithfulness - faithfulness in our marriages and faithfulness in our relationships with the Lord. These will feed one another, because if we can’t practice fidelity in one area, it is unlikely that we will be able to in other. We live in a society where functioning marriages appear to be the exception, not the rule. People are usually amazed that Janette and I have been married forty-plus years. But it is a commitment to God, that makes a commitment in marriage possible.
If we do not hold up the institution of marriage, who will? If we do not show marriage can work if worked on, who will? If we do not show a faithful marriage is grounded on a dependency on the Lord, who will? If there is ever a time in the history of this society, where the importance of marriage and family is most evident, it is now.
And the foundation of faithfulness is obedience to Christ’s commands to love. If we obey Him and love God with all of our heart and mind, then we will be faithful. If we obey Him and love others as ourselves, then we will also be faithful to our spouses. If we strengthen our relationship with God and our spouse, we won’t have to worry about being unfaithful; we will be too busy being faithful. “You shall not commit adultery,” for we are created to “be united to …” our spouses, and “… become one flesh.” For one “… who commits adultery lacks sense; who[ever] does it destroys. …” themselves.
Our marriages are to picture Christ and the Church: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Exodus 20:14; Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 6:32; Ephesians 5:22, 23, 25-27, 31-32, NIV).i
Pastor Geoff Kragen
For more information about the author, podcasts and additional studies visit www.GKRAGEN.com.