Colossians chapter 3 is a paramount marriage passage. It begins with, “If then you have been raised with Christ….” The exhortations that follow are powered to lift a marriage to a nice cruising altitude. Set your minds on things that are above. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you. Put off the old self; put on the new self. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
The top two commandments given to us by Christ are all about putting on love. I am to love Him, with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. If I’m married, my spouse is next in line for the expression of the second greatest commandment – to love my neighbor as myself. I am to love her (him), drawing from the well of love that was replenished when I fulfilled the first commandment.
Agape love can be a narrow road – “eye of the needle” navigation. Romantic love is not a struggle to endure; it’s a wide path, easy to traverse. If you’ve been married for a substantial period of time, you know the challenge to which I refer. All that “putting off” and “putting on” is not easy or automatic.
It presents itself as an enigma, a mystery of deep proportions. How can we be organically united with Christ in the heavens, while our feet are touching the ground? This seeking of things above is a daily choice before me, as the temporal things of earth jab for my attention. I am wonderfully raised, yet painfully grounded.
My vision to press on in this journey is enlarged when I constrict my gaze upon the Man Christ Jesus. His eyes of fire burn away the dross that would drive me to compromise for a lesser luster in my marriage. His was the narrow way, laying aside His attributes as God, He made Himself of no reputation (emptied Himself of His privileges). Such humility and lowliness, to the point of death on the cross; He was exalted to God’s right hand and given the name which is above every name. (Philippians 2:5-9)
Spouses that lose their lives in Christ, truly find one another. The lower you go, the higher you’ll soar.