Monday, June 29, 2009

In Sickness and In Health

Wonderful words with weighty implications.

I've promised to love my wife when she is beautifully healthy (No Problem) and when she is unattractively sick (Help!) It's a lot easier to love someone when a problem is quickly addressed but when it takes more energy or interrupts my life then my true character and commitment are challenged.

How would you advise a new couple about to be married? What one piece of advice would you give them? How about:
*Put Jesus first
*Pray together daily
*Go out on dates
*Learn to listen

How about: "Take your vows seriously"

Our wedding vows are some of the richest and moving commitments anyone could declare. Especially, "before God and these witnesses."

It's about a single-minded obsession to do whatever it takes to nurture, build up and truly love my spouse until I die. No matter what the cost or condition.

That sounds an awful lot like the love of Christ to His bride. The Apostle Paul was obsessed with getting believers to understand just how seriously Jesus took His vows. He would do whatever it took to present His bride as beautiful and glorious before His Father. Paul used the metaphor of marriage to show believers what it means for God to love His people. The passage in Ephesians 5 is the classic instruction book for husbands and wives but I fear at times we see it more as a handbook for our roles rather than as a picture of the gospel. Even the Apostle qualifies it when he says, "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." I would argue that the context of Ephesians 5 is that Paul is more concerned about us understanding the love of God through Christ than "how to get along in marriage."

Here's a suggestion: Go back and review your vows of marriage.

Better yet - go back and review your vows of membership and commitment to Christ and His Church.

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