Friday, February 27, 2009

Intimacy and Pain

In God's sovereign wisdom he puts us together in marriage to grow in the likeness of Jesus. That work comes at a cost. First and foremost the cost of His lifeblood to give us forgiveness and intimacy with the Father. Another cost is the daily sanctification of the gospel in our own lives. We have to be daily sharpened and molded which often brings pain.

Perhaps one of the most intimate and thus painful contexts for that sanctification is in our marriages. Listen again to a secular marriage counselor's observation as to the reason for this difficulty. "...we have deep and inbred capacities to change and grow, and that taking shared, creative risks with someone loved and trusted enhances these capacities. But let's not fool ourselves - marriage is hard. And if there is one single factor that makes our marriages hard, it is that they become crucibles for our own individual pain."The Marriage Benefit, Mark O'Connell

Biblicaly speaking that crucible is the place where eternal issues arise. We want to know Christ and to make Him known. That means we want to see as He sees, listen as He listens, love has He loves. What's going on in your marriage right now? Where does Jesus fit in? Not as a medicinal tablet to ease some pain but to grow you more into His likeness.

Le't not run from the struggle but belive that God has brought our spouses into our lives to bring out Jesus more clearly and fully. "Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1,2. It's really not about us but aobut Him and the call is to bring out the fragrance of Christ in our relationships, and especially in our marriages which are to be pictures of the gospel we declare to be our first love.

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