Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Christ-Centered Marriage: Biblical Marriage (Part 6)

We have considered what the Bible says about marriage in my previous posts. In today’s world, one doesn’t need to look far to see the need for healthy marriages and families. Regarding this important issue of having a biblical marriage, there are three key principles to keep in mind:
  1. Marriage is designed by God rather than by western culture;
  2. Christ is to be the center of your marriage;
  3. Partner together as a team in your marriage.
Designed by God
Marriage was and is God’s creation and we need to recognize Him as the marriage expert rather than looking to our culture’s perspectives. Human behavior is consistent regardless of the age or culture in which we live. The same destructive patterns of behavior operate today with destructive force just as in the days of Adam and Eve. Ancient peoples had the same tendencies of wrongdoing and the same inner desires and needs that we have. Since mankind has not essentially changed, biblical instructions are just as relevant today in our culture as when they were first given. God’s design for a man and a woman to become “one flesh” as found in Genesis 2 remains intact today. "It is God's intention that in every marriage the couple love each other with an absorbing, spiritual, emotional, and physical attraction that continues to grow throughout their lifetime together" (Ed Wheat in Love Life for Every Married Couple).

Christ as the Center
A Christ-centered marriage calls us away from selfishness and thinking mostly about our own needs. Our model for marriage is to love our wives as Christ loved the Church in a self-sacrificing way and to respect and follow the leadership of our husbands as the Church does Jesus. Jesus desires marriage to last and fulfill God’s purpose through this union. He said that what God has joined together, no man should separate (Matt. 19:6).

Together With Grace
Marriage was designed to bring happiness, not misery. All marriages have struggles. We need to join together to face the issues rather than face off against one another. Stop fighting each other. Let go of the hurt. Train yourself to love and forgive.

When a barrier develops in your marriage, actively take it down.
  1. Forgive. Wipe the slate clean and begin again.
  2. Change your behavior. Don't look to your spouse to do it first.
  3. Renew your mind through God's word. Allow Him to replace the negatives with good attitudes that will bless.
Marriage is a spiritual union by which a couple creates a life together sharing deep and meaningful goals. We need to set an atmosphere where we are open and non-judgmental so we can talk candidly and securely about how each person feels and why. When a couple shares meaning, calling and purpose, conflict is less intense and perpetual problems are not the determining factor in the quality of the marital relationship. The more a couple can share values, dreams and purpose together, the richer, easier, more fulfilling, and more meaningful your marriage will be.

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