Christian Marriage – A Woman’s Perspective
No Longer I
In my last posting, we saw how Christ because of His love for us, “ left” His Father in Heaven so that He could cleave to the Church and became one flesh with her.
Now, He is the Head of the Church- His body.
Similarly, how can two persons with different attributes and personalities become one flesh? It can only happen when we begin to see Christian Marriage in a difference perspective – God’s perspective!
In a Christian Marriage, God expects us to “see” our spouse and ourselves as ONE. This is clearly evident as He specifically instructed men to love their wives as themselves and for the women to see that they respect their husbands. (Eph 5:22~33)
He wants us to take on a “no longer I” (Gal 2:20) approach and attitude in our marriages. It is no longer about “Me” but “We and Us”. This does not mean that you lose your individuality and become a person of no preference, opinion or ideas when you get married but rather you now no longer make decisions or do things without considering the impact it might have on your spouse. Remember this – what affects you will affect him because God sees you as “one” in a marriage.
Gary Thomas in his book, “Sacred Marriage” asked a very thought provoking question :
“What if God designed Marriage to make us HOLY more than to make us HAPPY?”
This question was posted on my Wow31 FB and all who commented agreed that being married is probably the greatest test of one’s character and it is through relating to our spouse that God trains us to be more and more like Him.
There is really no better place to develop the fruits of the Spirit than in a Christian marriage. When we begin to accept this truth - that marriage’s main aim is to develop our righteous living, then we will truly understand it is no longer I who lives (Galations 2:20) and find Perfect Joy.
Love and Joy Perfected
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
In this verse, God reveals how love and joy are perfected as we abide in unity with Christ.
We may find many things that can give us pleasure and make us happy. However, there are not many things in life that can bring us to the place of true joy.
In February this year, I celebrated my 45th birthday and I have probably spent the first 30 years seeking the meaning of life. In other words, I was looking for the joy of living. And this is what I found…
There is no joy without love.
The stronger you love, the greater your joy will be!
The greatest love is displayed when you lay down you life for the one you love. In this you will find perfect joy!
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends
Christ found perfect joy when He laid down His life for us!
Hebrews 12:2 …Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus found joy when He laid down His life because of his love for us. In this He gave us an example of what we should also do to receive that joy; to live a life of liberty and to operate in a value system that is not of this world but of His Kingdom.
I have been counseling married couples for more than 10 years in my ministry. Of the couples that I have met, many married because of what they thought the marriage or spouse could do for them. Some married because they wanted children. While others married because it was just the right “age” to do so.
Whatever your reasons are/were for getting married, I believe God wants us to have a renewed perspective of Christian Marriage from this day forward.
His ultimate objective is for us to become His likeness! When we are committed to lay down our lives for our spouse and to love him /her with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength (Mark 12:30) we will experience true love that leads to true joy!
What does it mean to love with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength?
This simply means to love with liberty and to hold nothing back!
L O V E + L I B E R T Y = J O Y !
Love with Boundaries
When you love someone with a constant fear of being hurt, it is no fun at all! In fact, this is probably one of the main reasons why many people struggle in their relationships and marriages.
We need to love unreservedly and with liberty!
However, this does not mean that we throw all boundaries out of the window and allow others to take advantage of us or abuse us.
In Ephesians 5, you will find that before Paul talked about Christian Marriage from verse 22, he first explored the topic of Walking In Love, Walking in Light and Walking in Wisdom.
This shows us that in order for us to love freely and to be a blessing to the ones that we love, we need to position that love in the light of God’s Word. God’s Word will provide the guidelines for us and show us how we should love and what we should or should not do in our relationships and marriages.
In addition, verses 17 and 18 instruct us to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can understand the Will of God. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom and the Spirit of Truth.
Whatever that has not been clearly spelt out in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit can help and guide us in that area. He is after all our Helper as described by Jesus.
He is living on the inside of us and He is closer to us than our very own breath. His main role is to lead us and to guide us! Most importantly, He is here to help us to love as Christ loves.
Are you in a wonderful marriage? Praise the Lord!
Or do you find it hard to love or respect your spouse? Are you lacking love and joy in your marriage?
Now is the time to seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to change your heart. He will be most glad to do it because that is what He is here for, to help us especially when we don’t know how!
Coming Next… Hear from a Man’s Perspective
This week, you have heard from a woman’s perspective of Christian Marriage. Next week, I have asked my husband, Derek to share with you from a man’s perspective. You do not want to miss this so please stay tuned for his article!
In the meanwhile, do you have any questions on what was written?
Are you unsure about loving with boundaries?
Do you have difficulty respecting and submitting to your husband?
Or you may have a question about your marriage that requires a man’s input?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following Derek’s article, for my last article for this series, I will discuss practically how we can love our spouse with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds and with all our strengths.
Love, Susan Dunn