The Powerful Ministry of the Holy Spirit in Your Marriage
- Don and Sally Meredith
- 2006 29 Apr
Have you ever experienced marriage seminar meltdown? You come back from there with a wheel-barrow full of notes, proven principles, and sure-fire methods to put the spark back in your relationship. Your kids and friends notice the difference - you cuddle like high school sweethearts, you bring back your pet names, and you clear out Friday nights for romantic rendezvous.
But after a few weeks, the dates are shoved out by long hours at the office, conversations go back to one-syllable discussions, and the spark starts to dim as you spend what seems to be every moment driving the kids around town. What happened, you wonder?
Seminars, Sunday school and small groups are great ways to learn marriage principles, but on our own we don’t possess the power for long-term change. Sure, we can change for a time, but we lack the power to consistently pursue oneness like God intended. That’s one reason why God sent the Holy Spirit into the life of each believer.
Who is the Holy Spirit and how can He help your marriage? He is an often hidden resource that couples forget to call upon for help in their marriage. Let’s take a short look at the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit and what He offers for your marriage.
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is available to help every believing Christian – regardless of church denomination. At the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives permanently. This is often referred to as the “indwelling” of the Spirit. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8a), Christ promises.
The Holy Spirit is God with the attributes only God can have. He is:
1. Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7–8)
2. Omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)
3. Omnipotent (Genesis 1:2)
Not only is the Holy Spirit all-powerful, but like God the Father and God the Son, He has a personality and can be related to personally. He has feelings and can be grieved by our actions (Ephesians 4:30). He can be obeyed or disobeyed (Acts 10:19–20).
Because we have earthly models of fathers and sons, it is often easier to identify with and rely upon God the Father and Jesus. It is harder to identify with a spirit. Yet, in marriage we can’t afford to miss out on the powerful ministry that the Holy Spirit offers.
Ministry of the Holy Spirit
As the Holy Spirit enters our lives, He does a number of works to produce a living fellowship between God and us. Of course, these works also affect the relationships we have with others around us, particularly our spouses and our children. Here are some of the works of the Holy Spirit that strongly impact our relationships:
Gives us power to be Christ-like (Ephesians 3:16)
Directs our lives on a daily basis (Romans 8:14)
Convicts us of sin (John 16:8)
Empowers us to fight sin in our lives (Galatians 5:15-16)
Causes our marriages to glorify Christ (John 16:14)
Helps us produce the “fruit” of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
When we yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, our marriages will lift up Christ and make Him known by our words and deeds.
Call on the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Marriage
Raising kids, making a living and facing trials such as infertility – all of these make it hard for couples to maintain a strong marriage today. Stress leads to tension and our sinful human nature comes out. We need power that is beyond us to overcome our sinful tendencies. God provides this power through the person of the Holy Spirit.
Isn’t it time you relied on the Holy Spirit to help you succeed in your marriage? If you’re nodding your head in agreement, consider these four steps – they can lead your marriage toward a renewed sense of oneness:
1. Ask God to teach you these insights concerning His Holy Spirit;
2. Believe that God loves you and that He desires to walk with you in oneness through the power of the Holy Spirit;
3. Confess to God your utter dependency on the Holy Spirit for power. If there is any known sin in your life, confess it by agreeing with God that it is sin and is displeasing to Him;
4. Draw upon God’s power by faith and obedience. Begin walking by the Spirit in your marriage: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).