Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Marriage 4.0

Many couples today say their vows with the intention of staying married but it is not a covenant relationship. That’s marriage 1.0.  Some couples stay together for the duration but with little joy.  That is marriage 2.0.  Still other couples work to have a marriage that the world would consider good. That is marriage 3.0. Some couples have strived to have a marriage that would glorify God, yet even those marriages may not be at what I would call 4.0, including my own.

So to begin with what would a marriage look like that glorifies God?  To begin with the husband would be a servant leader, protector and provider.  He would continually work at loving his wife as much as he loves himself (Ephesians 5:33).  He would spend time in the Word, be connected to some Godly men, and commit everything to prayer.  He would lead family devotions and pray each day with his wife. Because the husband is other centered there is rarely a time when the concept of submission is even entertained.  The wife respects and reveres her husband.  I prefer the Amplified Bible’s version which says “that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and ]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.”  As parents they attempt to instill Christian values and character traits in their children, recognizing their children are merely on loan from God.

Chisel rough edges
I’m sure I didn’t capture everything in my description but you get the idea.  Here is where 4.0 comes in.  God uses our spouse as part of our sanctification process.  Sometimes God might use an annoying habit, in which case I need to look at my heart and see why I’m annoyed.  In other cases my wife sees all my flaws, wrinkles and sins.  No one is in a better position to call my attention to such deficits, not that I am to be her self-improvement project but she is to be my friend, my guide, my confidant and partner in my spiritual journey.  She can point out a blind spot or chisel off a rough edge but do it in such a kind, loving and gentle way that I hear what she is telling me. (Proverbs 27:6) 

This level of honesty can do wonders for our spiritual growth.  It starts by giving one another permission to be lovingly honest.  It is accompanied by knowing that the sole purpose is to build us up into the image of Christ, not tear us down.  There is no hidden agenda, no manipulation or deception.

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