Marriage: The Greatest and Most Sanctifying of Graces

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life up for her…” Ephesians 5:25

“In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner…” 1 Peter 3:7

Marriage is an institution that is ordained by God, a covenant before Him, and is designed to be a reflection of the Gospel. It is meant to last and designed for life. Marriage is something to be desired and pursued intentionally and bathed in prayer.

I love my wife, Kaitlin. She means the world to me.  Aside from my salvation, she’s the greatest gift from the Lord to me and being married to her is an honor, privilege and joyous blessing.  Marriage ought to be like that, should it not? I think so.

Marriage is something that I eagerly longed for.  I prayed and prayed that the Lord would provide for me a wife.  I was about ready to give up all hope, when He did just that.  And that’s when everything truly began and the most exciting journey started.

Right now you’re probably thinking, “Oh, here we go again.  Another blog post about marriage.  Why bother, I’ve read so many.”. Or perhaps you’re thinking that this is going to be some sales pitch or formula for how to obtain the perfect marriage.  It is nothing of that sort, let me assure you.

However, it is about something very special and crucial about marriage.  It is about what marriage can, and will always do, for you.  This is true whether you are a man or woman, mind you.  This post is all about how marriage is a means of sanctifying grace.  Marriage is one of many ways our Sovereign Lord and Father has chosen to conform us more and more into the image of Jesus (Romans 8:28-30).

Have I gotten your attention yet?  Well, I hope so, because I am about to be a bit transparent.  Ok, so remember how I said that I prayed and prayed for a wife and the Lord gave me one?  Well, that too quite a bit of time to get to that point.  But what I didn’t really fully comprehend is that I had not, and indeed have not, arrived at the final destination.  For you singles, and I dare say married folks, please be aware and careful that you do not find yourself thinking marriage is the final destination.  The state of being married is not the final destination.

The fact that a marriage is a covenant is a critical part of the journey.  A covenant is an agreement between two parties.  And this one has God as the witness.  When I and my wife said our vows, we meant them and fully intend to keep them till death do us part.

However, in order to make true on the promise to love, cherish, have hold and care for, there needs to be two very important lessons learned. These are still being learned, mind you, and the learning is part of the journey too.  But the two most important things are, 1) you’re both sinners and will sin.  And, 2) part of sanctification is the mortifying, or killing of, sin in your life.  It is a daily trust and faith exercise to put to death the old man and his old selfish nature and ways.  This is not something you can do on your own, mind you.

It is, however, only by daily reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit to do daily heart surgery,that you can kill whatever sin is getting in the way.   Trust me, marriage will reveal daily, just how sinful you are and how desperately in need of the God’s Gospel of grace you truly are.  There will be times when you feel like an absolute failure as a husband, and can do absolutely nothing right.  And that is a good place to get to, because it is true.  You cannot make it on your own strength.  You need that daily trust and reliance upon the Lord for His sustaining and empowering grace given by the Spirit.

I absolutely love my marriage, it is a testimony to God’s radical grace and healing work.  But, God is not done with it yet.  He has a plan.  He wants to conform us, individually and together, into the image of His Son Jesus.  And it is by way of sin killing and running daily to the Father, and throwing myself upon His mercy and grace found in the cross, that I can begin to grow up into an exemplary and Biblical husband, as 1 Peter 3:7 and Ephesians 5:25 lay out.

 Oh, and trust me, there will absolutely be follow up blog posts to this one. The conversation is only just beginning.   

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