Friday, 20 January 2012

The Bottom Line

We have done only that which we ought to have done.
Luke 17:10

I recently heard Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill in Seattle, say that he read 187 books on marriage before he and his wife began to write their book entitled Real Marriage which hit the book stores a few days ago. By all the hype it promises to go into unchartered waters. In addition Tim Keller’s recently released book, The Meaning of Marriage appears to be a must read for those considering marriage and for those looking to make their marriage better.

But I will say that the following offering from Dennis and Barbara Rainey of FamilyLife Today is as succinct and on target as anything you will find on marriage.

When you think about the great humanitarian efforts achieved by the advance of Christianity over the years, you possibly think of hospitals and rescue missions and hunger relief. But perhaps the power of Christianity is proven best every day in homes and families and marriages like yours--when people who are self-centered by nature put their spouse's needs before their own. It's something He only accomplishes in us when we do the following:

1. Put Christ first in all things. When Barbara and I signed the "Title Deed" of our lives over to Christ as a young married couple, we officially gave Him everything that was ours--all rights to our lives, dreams and possessions. Have we ever failed to remember the One who really owns our hopes, dreams and possessions? Sure. But whenever we've been tempted to live for ourselves, we've always been able to look each other in the eye and remember a time when we submitted everything of ours into His keeping and signed that title deed.

2. Give up all rights and entitlements. Paul said, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all" (1 Corinthians 9:19). Not a slave to some, but to all. And just as a slave relinquishes all rights to personal time and desires, we as Christ's followers are commanded to put others above ourselves. It's the only way to be the kind of wife or husband God intends us to be.

3. Be selfless in the little things. Sometimes I don't want to get out of my favorite chair to help Barbara carry in the groceries, sweep the kitchen or clean a toilet bowl. But it's in these minor, everyday moments that we teach our selfish selves who is boss. This is part of what the Bible means when it tells us to "learn to do good" (Isaiah 1:17)--to constantly choose death to self, to always choose sacrificial love until it becomes our first response.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a comment