Our marriage can be used as an instrument to bring praises and worship to the Father’s name. In my last blog post, I talked about Marriage Reflecting God and the first few steps that we can take to glorify God in our marriage. We make Jesus as the firm foundation of our marriage, pray with our spouse, and communicate effectively and honestly with one another, so that we can bring honor to God and his gift for marriage. There are many steps that we can take to reflect God’s character in our own life and in our marriages. Here are some more steps to building a marriage centered around Christ.
The implementation of commitment, forgiveness, grace, and humility along with the other previous virtues we discussed in Marriage Reflecting God Part 1, are exactly what we can receive and give, to understand what is right before us in marriage.
- Our commitment to what the word of God says about marriage is how we can reflect Christ in our marriage.
In the book of Matthew scripture says that “what God has joined together, let no one separate (Matthew 19:6 ESV).” I love the implication of this in that marriage is not just a contract or agreement between two people, it is so much more. God takes a man and woman from the status of “single” and joins them together in unification that belongs to no one else other than each other. “One flesh” is the sexual unification of man and woman in marriage. Marriage is now the relationship of God-given gifts, that were not there before as a single man or woman or committed children to your mother and father (Genesis 2:24). Rather the commitment is now established in a new family as a husband and wife in marriage, and the loyalty is now to one another and no one else. Marriage is a relationship and partnership with God. Marriage is a covenant, commitment, and obligation to one another. Our commitment to God, our spouse, and marriage protects the bond of the most precious covenant and gift that we are given by our Father. A marriage reflecting God is established on the commitment to Christ and our spouse.
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:6
2. Forgiveness releases you from the resentment and anger that the enemy will try and use, to wedge a bridge between you and your spouse.
Forgiveness breaks the deadly separation the enemy uses to isolate a husband and wife from one another and unites them back together. It is one of the virtues that God gives in abundance, that we have access to instantaneously possess, yet often times we do not freely give as God has given to us. Why is this? I believe the enemy allows pride and control to creep into our hearts and minds when we choose to believe lies about our spouse. Satan does this to distract us from the fulness of marriage and relationship with our spouse. Scripture says in the book of Proverbs that pride goes before destruction and when pride is the source that is hindering the wholeness of our marriage, destruction ensues. It is the tactic of the enemy to build a bridge between you and your spouse in marriage. Jesus bore every wrong on the cross so that we could live a life of freedom and abundant joy.
As Christ has forgiven us, we are also commanded to forgive one another. Sometimes in marriage, we might feel as if we have a rite of passage to not extend that same grace and forgiveness to our spouse and yet sweep our issues under “the rug” as if they do not exist. Ignoring a problem leads to hurt, anger and resentment that can continue to grow over time. When we do not extend forgiveness toward one another it can grow a root of bitterness so deep, and before you know it your spouse is receiving the worst of you. This does not build up a marriage, but instead breaks it down. Forgiveness is vital to the health of our marriage and is the very character of who Christ is. Extending forgiveness to our spouse is a marriage reflecting God.
“bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13
3. Grace towards our spouse, allows Christ’s presence to manifest in our marriage.
Navigating grace in a blended family can be hard on some days, and in marriage even harder. What we learned early on in our marriage, is that marriage is the daily act of dying to self and surrendering all to Christ. It is not a one-time bold courageous moment of surrender and dying, but an everyday act of giving our life and marriage over to Christ. Our intentionality to extend grace and show them the same love, mercy, and grace that Jesus Christ has given us, is what reflects Christ in our marriage and to our children, family, and friends.
Scripture says that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His power is magnified and made perfect in our weakness. In 2 Cor 12:9, the Apostle Paul is saying that His grace is ever-present and made available to us. Regardless of how severe our circumstances may be, the power of God can be made perfect in our own weaknesses. Our very weaknesses as spouses and parents are what can be used to demonstrate the Lord’s power in our marriage and blended family. Grace for one another in our marriage is what will carry us through the difficult times and joyful times. It is what covers us and protects us from the flaming arrows of the enemy and agreeing with the lies that he will try and plant in our hearts and minds towards our spouse and marriage.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
4. Humility is favored by God and it will bring grace to your marriage when we humble ourselves towards one another.
The definition of humility is freedom from pride or arrogance. It is the exact thing that God loves to receive from our hearts and posture towards Him and His people, especially our spouse being they are the most important person next to our relationship to Christ. We all know that marriage can have its good days and bad days, but our ability to remain humble and serve our spouse with grace and patience, can bring forth blessings and joy in our relationship with our spouse.
In the above paragraph I talked about how scripture says that pride goes before destruction, and this can become such a controlling spirit in our minds and hearts if we allow it to sit there. Pride becomes a barrier to our blessings. Pride will destroy our marriage. When we allow it to take a room in our marriage, it can become the poison that causes illness, sickness, and even death in our relationship with our spouse. God opposes the proud but gives grace and favor to the humble and in our marriage, the act of humility towards our spouse gives recognition, glory and praise to God as we serve our spouse, in which we would ultimately want to serve Jesus. Humility causes us to do, say and believe in which we extend grace and love without hesitation or with ill intensions of seeking something for ourselves. Humility gives glory to God and does not seek to give glory to oneself. A marriage reflecting God opposes pride and gives reverence to Christ through a humble and gentle heart towards our spouse.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
A marriage reflecting God can incorporate many things, and these were a few that the Holy Spirit really conveyed to us in a past season. In all things that we are doing in our marriage, if we are seeking the heart and character of God, we will become a couple and marriage reflecting who He is.
Scott and Vanessa Martindale
Founders of Blended Kingdom Families