Resurrecting Your Marriage
- Barry R. Leventhal, Ph.D. <i>Two Becoming One</i>
- 2003 6 Jun
A marriage is like a physical body. A healthy body needs a regular and balanced input of diet, exercise, and rest. Without these life-giving factors, over a period of time, deterioration and disease will eventually settle in – death is bound to follow. If a marriage is to succeed, certain life-giving factors – resurrection factors – should be downloaded in a regular and balanced way over a lifetime. So what are God’s resurrection factors that we need on a regular basis if we are going to grow and enjoy the marriage to which God has called us?
Resurrection Factor One: God Himself
The first resurrection factor is God Himself. This may sound self-evident, but it bears repeating. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth – the LORD God Almighty is His name” (Amos 4:13).
Before God created marriage (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25), He created the entire universe (Gen. 1:1-25). The God of the material universe is the God of the marriage covenant. Marriage is a part of something much larger than itself. And until a married couple comes to this realization, their marriage will tend to be self-focused, looking inward rather than upward and outward.
Resurrection Factor Two: The Word of God
The one true God has made Himself known through His Word, the Holy Bible: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
God’s Holy Word not only reveals what the God of the universe is really like, but also how we can know Him in a personal way. And beyond this, His Word directs us into His perfect blueprint for marriage. Without His Word, we would not know where to begin in our marriages, let alone how to grow and enjoy them.
Resurrection Factor Three: The Church of God
The one true God, who has revealed Himself through His Holy Scriptures, is building a community of believers where marriages can thrive and glorify Him. Jesus said, “ … I will build My Church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18).
Marriage may begin with a single man and woman, but if it is to grow and mature, it should find its way into a living expression of the body of Christ, the Church of the living God. Lone Ranger marriages, like Lone Ranger Christians, tend to eventually suffer shipwreck in regard to their faith.
Before the Apostle Paul laid out His divinely-inspired directions for Christian marriages and families (Eph. 5:22-6:4), he grounded marriage and family in the Spirit-filled, worshipping community of God (Eph. 5:18-21): “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.”
Resurrection marriages (Eph. 5:22-33) are grounded in a Spirit-filled, worshipping community (“speaking,” “singing,” “making melody,” “giving thanks”) that expresses itself in mutual subjection and encouragement under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (“submitting”). Without the instruction, encouragement, equipping, and accountability found in the fellowship of the Church, your marriage will die a slow and agonizing death.
Resurrecting your marriage is really not so difficult. All that it requires is a growing dependency upon and obedience to God. If you are serious about resurrecting your marriage, prayerfully interact over the following questions:
Have you personally come to know and trust in the Triune God of the universe: Creator, Savior, and Sustainer?
How has His Holy Word, the Bible, influenced your marriage over the past six months? How can it direct your marriage in the next six months?
Are you and your mate committed to a Christ-centered, Bible-believing Church? What is your personal involvement in such a church?
© 2003 Christian Family Life
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