Hearts of Obedience
Jesus gives us a definition of true community, which I believe is also a major key to marital unity. Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.’ But he answered them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. Lk. 8:19-21
The best marriage resource is grown from the “hear and do” – hearts of obedience.
The Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Ex. 3: 2 – 4
The living sacrifice caught his eye. It was a bush that was burning, that was still a bush. In the end, it wasn’t a black, charred remnant of a bush. This is where the voice of God is clearly heard; from within this fire. It’s where God called to Moses. It’s where God will speak to you.
Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom. 12: 1-2 A living sacrifice is one that burns on the altar but is not consumed. It can be offered again.
The best marriage resource is the “consuming fire” in the hearts of husbands and wives who present themselves wholeheartedly to God.
Many of you have read our book, Vertical Marriage: A Godward Preparation for Life Together. Defined in a snapshot: A vertical marriage is a Christ-focused partnership of personal transformation. It is a husband and wife loving God and one another, while living in expectation of the return of the Bridegroom.
The best marriage resource is two journey-mates fixed on eternity, laying up treasures in heaven, seeking to be transformed more and more into the image of Christ.
Repentance & Humility
Lest I sound too idealistic, the nuts and bolts of this process is beset by trials. The self-life doesn’t lay down and die without a struggle. Being convicted of sin, repenting as soon as I am able, being healed of my personal brokenness – this is an ongoing narrative.
The best marriage resource is discovered on Calvary’s hill. It is the means of ascension to the lowest place, partaking of the humility of Christ, creating a wellspring of grace for your marriage friendship.
(Speaking of friendship, check out Anne’s recent message below: Being Best Friends in Marriage. )