19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
As Christians, we are not perfect, but are being made perfect into the likeness of our Savior Jesus Christ. In all of our weaknesses, He will come in and show Himself strong if we allow Him to. Our trials and tribulations fuel our testimony with victory as we stand on God’s Word with trust and faith. We should be working towards a standard of marriage that is measured by God’s Word. Everything else will disappoint us with wrong decisions and confused emotions. Wise counsel always comes from the Word.
[ Pressing Toward the Goal] Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Our biggest spectators are our children. Our children learn how to have relationships based on how they see us react to one another. Unfortunately, they see all. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. They see the unmasked truth that uncovers itself when out of the public eye. Are we being consistent in our behavior? Do we act one way with each other in church, then completely change in the comfort of our own homes? If we are hypocrites, they will surely rebel against any advice about relationships, even if we are giving them the truth! It’s okay for them to see our vulnerability, but they must also see the resolution. When they see us make things right through repentance, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, this will help them understand that relationships take work and intentional understanding/compassion towards another person.
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The sad part is, that many children don’t have any model to gleen from. The devil has surely done his part at destroying the honor and respect that was once placed on marriage. Homes have been destroyed by sin, and divorce has become an easy fix instead of a last resort. Marriage has become so unattractive that many choose to just cohabitate and have children, instead of committing to a covenant that would be legally harder to get out of. I was one who thought like this before I got saved. I dated my first husband on and off for 7 years before we got married. Our first daughter was already 2-years-old. Even then I had reservations (rightly so) about making a commitment. Our relationship was toxic and marriage didn’t fix anything. Marriage only works if two people come together knowing that they are already complete. A spouse can’t complete you. Only Jesus can! Unfortunately, my two oldest girls have witnessed many dysfunctional relationship responses and have also been subject to our divorce and living without their father. The good news is, that they have also witnessed my healing and deliverance through Jesus and have seen how God restores and makes things new! It might seem like the enemy has won the war on marriage. It has been “redefined” by law, but it can never be redesigned! Man cannot re-create something that God has already established. It is not too late to overturn the world’s perspective. It starts with our example. It gets passed on to our children and those who we touch.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Take time to reflect on your marriage. How is it honoring God? What are some things that can be improved? How do those who see you perceive you? How do your children see you? Make note of all these things and give them to God. Let Him search your heart and give you wisdom on how to improve your marriage and strengthen the next generation.
Father, we thank You for completing us and making us whole. Forgive us for not always being an example of Your love and reflecting Your image. Show us places that we act like hypocrites. Deal with our hearts and give us greater compassion to deal with every situation with love. Help us be pillars in our sphere of influence that glorifies Godly covenant. We want to turn the world upside down with an army of marriages that bring respect and honor back to marriage as You have designed it. Let our children be witness to the truth of Your Word and form their identities around that truth. We rebuke the devil who would make things appear hopeless and loose the hope that comes from the testimony of Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!