What an incredible time! The weekend’s activities included: lots of time with my wonderful hubby, great fellowship, a 16 mile run, fantastic teaching from God’s Word, lunch at Sharkys, renting beach cruisers for a beautiful ride along Newport beach with friends, a silly red tandem bike, crazy pictures, the newlywed game, bingo, delicious desert at the Cheesecake Factory, amazing weather, lots of Starbucks, Dr. Mike Fabarez, the picturesque Hyatt, wonderful conversations, and much, much more….
I was both reminded and encouraged by many truths found in God’s perfect Word. I was taken back to Kurt at winter camp, as Mike exhorted us to individually be committed to spiritual growth. Not casually, but rather as 2 Cor 12:15 says, I should “gladly spend and be spent.” in my pursuit of Christ. HE is the thing! Indeed, when this is neglected, my marriage is neglected, and we become like 2 ticks with no dog—trying to feed off of each other with no source. I was also reminded that the goal of my marriage is God’s great glory, not my own pleasure. Marriage is about pleasing Christ because THE GLORY OF CHRIST IS WHY WE LIVE! At the same time, marriage can reflect something mysterious and beautiful (namely the amazing fellowship of the Trinity, or the incredible love Christ has for his bride, the church) and as 1 Corinthians 10:31 states “all is for the glory of God.”
I truly valued how each message was saturated with the Gospel. Allow me to share a brief snippet…
The Gospel in 8 Words:
Jer3:21 “they have perverted their ways and have forgotten the Lord their God.”
We have an incorrect view of God and sin happens…. Sin doesn’t happen when we have a correct view of God.
Isaiah 59:2 “but your iniquities have separated you from your God…”
A Holy God cannot overlook sin, and our sin makes us enemies of God.
Romans 5:6 “when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
Our heavenly Father compassionately draws us to Himself, giving life to our dead and helpless soul. God’s only son paid our debt and conquered sin at Calvary.
Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
In Christ we are completely forgiven. Because of Christ’s atoning death, our sin no longer separates us from God and we can enjoy sweet, intimate fellowship with Him.
Our marriages can bring glory to the Gospel as we live out the reality of the Gospel each day. Marriages are filled with thoughtless transgression (as we sin against them and they against us) that will cause real damage (like broken trust, intimacy issues, and strained fellowship). But in Christ we can have indominitable love for those who have wronged us. (Read 1 John 4:7-21… it will rock your world) It is here that transgressions becomes an opportunity to show God’s love; to have love conquer that transgression. We can certainly bring glory to the Gospel with our unmerited, complete forgiveness! And that DOES mean forgive and forget…. I know, SO counter-culture, but 1 Corinthians 13 says love keeps no record of wrongs. Divine forgiveness is only of Christ and it follows His example of remembering our sins no more.
It was incredibly eye opening to ponder the impact of living out the reality of the Gospel in marriage. I must confess that I’ve never thanked the Lord that I married a sinner…. :)… nor does my flesh want view my husband’s thoughtless transgressions as opportunities to bring glory to the gospel. I am surely a work in progress, and, though I fail often, it is my desire to purposefully work to express grace and mercy to my spouse ALL of the time, in any circumstance. I ardently pray that Christ is accurately displayed in my marriage to Matthew.