Monday, March 9, 2015

(Daily) Choice

In the church-wide study that our church did as a congregation last month, the author, Bob Crossman, challenged us to commit - or recommit - ourselves to Christ in six different ways: prayer, reading the Bible, worship, sacrificial giving, witnessing, and service. This call to recommit, or rededicate ourselves is a reminder that having a relationship with Jesus does not happen in an instant. It is not a one-time event. Yes, we are saved when we accept him into our lives, and our sins are forgiven… but our story doesn't end there; it can’t! It takes a lifetime to come to terms with and understand what those things mean. It is the beginning of a new life, the start of a journey. Marriage is the same. There is much to celebrate on the wedding day, as two people make a public and holy vow to spend the rest of their days together, but that is the beginning, not the end. The rest of their lives are spent in understanding the full extent of what they promised to each other.

It is no coincidence that Christ and the church are analogously referred to a bridegroom and bride, and that marriage ceremony imagery is used in Revelation when God and His creation are reconciled and rejoined. Both journeys - individual and savior, and husband and wife - need to be marked by certain disciplines. Both paths need to be chosen day in and day out. Indeed, salvation and marriage are more ways of being, states of mind, than they are events that happen but once. Both require waking up each morning and choosing the path over and over again.

To echo the Crossman study, I’ll suggest six ways that husbands and wives can choose marriage daily. These are areas of your life together that they can focus on in an effort to recommit to a marriage that blesses your spouse and honors God.

Cherish. Your spouse is a gift from God, and needs to be treated as such.
"Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:21
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
“Like the finest apple tree in the orchard,  is my lover among other young men.” Song of Songs 2:3

Praise. Tell your spouse often why you love them. Sing their praises publicly as well!
“Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

Forgive. We are forgiven only as we forgive, so...
"keep no record of wrongs." 1 Corinthians 13:5

Serve. Strive always to out-serve each other in your marriage.
"Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" Mark 10:43

Forsake all others. You two are one flesh, after all.
“Rejoice in the wife of your youth. May you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19
“My beloved is mine, and I am his” Song of Songs 2:16

Work on the preceding five areas, and the sixth will surely follow.
“Faith, hope and love remain. And the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8