Monday, September 11, 2017


John Maxwell, when writing about the apostle Paul in the context of his letter to the Phillipians, said this: “He realized that a leader can either surrender to his circumstances, or surrender to a cause so great that his circumstances won’t matter.” Paul had a strong sense of his purpose, proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Because of that he was able to remain positive regardless of his surrounding or circumstances. Whether from prison, while being beaten or surviving shipwrecks, despite any trial or tribulation he did the work of God’s kingdom to which he was called with passion and zeal.

As married couples we need to have this same attitude, realizing that maintaining a marriage that honors God, one that portrays a picture of Christ’s love for the church and even God’s love for the world, is part of the kingdom work to which WE are called. It is all too easy to surrender to circumstances. Mounting bills, overly busy calendars filled with kids’ activities, work, church and other commitments, lack of or mis-communication between husband and wife, all these can add stress to a relationship, and if left unchecked can foster resentment, bitterness, and anger. This negativity will manifest in what the world sees of us as we ‘do’ marriage. Daily we must meet these struggles head on, and not surrender to them.

Like Paul, our commitment to the work that God has given us must be undertaken with zeal. Our nuptial unions are part of that work! The relationship between husband and wife is to be our most important earthly bond. “A man leaves his father and mother, and cleaves to his wife” it says in Genesis 2:24. Even when kids arrive on the scene, the spousal relationship must remain the first priority. When it is strong, it provides a foundation for the family, and peace for the home.

More and more our society devalues the primacy of this relationship and the vows upon which it is based. One spouse pours all his or her effort into work. Another focuses predominantly on the kids. Divorce rates have skyrocketed, even among church goers. Daily, we surrender to circumstances. How many of us see marriage as a higher calling, as kingdom work, as a cause so great that our circumstances become irrelevant as we fight for it?

Attitude and purpose are inextricably linked. Lacking purpose, the situations we find ourselves in determine our outlook. Good days or bad are defined by what we’re dealing with, and greatly affect how we deal with them. Having a clear sense of purpose though gives you strength to fight through tribulations, and fuels a positive attitude. Likewise, when your attitude is right, your purpose is furthered.

Marriage is a cause worth fighting for, and is part of our divine calling for we who are married. We must fight for our spouses and our families. We must put in the work so our unions become beacons for those around us. They should see our marriages and ask how we are able to do them so well in this day and age. Our answer is God.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.   -Phillipians 4:13