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Marriage: Conforming into the Image of Christ

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!! Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who LOVE God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” …I know that this is not one of the more popular verses about “love” shared on Valentine’s day, but I wanted to point out the beauty behind it within the context of marriage. The goal of everything that God does in His providence and for His children is to conform us into the image of Christ, marriage included.

When you think of the image of Christ, what are some characteristics that automatically come to mind? Three qualities that stand out to me are His unconditional LOVE (complete love; no conditions), His MERCY (not giving what IS deserved; deliverance from judgement), and His unending GRACE (giving what is NOT deserved; extending kindness to the unworthy).

So, here are some questions: How would we ever learn unconditional love if we were married to people who met all of our expectations and conditions all of the time? How would we ever learn mercy and heart felt compassion if we were married to people who were never difficult with us, never failed us, and never sinned against us? How would we truly learn patience and long suffering if we had spouses who were never slow to acknowledge their sin or ask for forgiveness?? How would we ever learn how to extend grace and pour out favor if we were married to people who were always deserving of every good thing?

Marriage is one of the greatest instruments of sanctification because it gives us the opportunity to be more like Jesus every day. We are married to people who do not meet all the conditions, so that we learn unconditional love! We are married to people who need mercy so that we learn to give it! …And thus we become like the God we worship. This friends, is one of the most beautiful parts about committing your life to someone forever.

Matt Chandler said, “In forgiving and loving our sinful spouses, we begin to understand on a much smaller scale what it meant for our holy God to forgive and redeem us.” I pray that we are more intentional in loving our spouses unconditionally. We worship God for His unconditional love, mercy, and grace, but we sometimes demand that our spouse live in such a way that they not be in need of it. By God’s grace, we are capable of this supernatural love, but we must be utterly dependent on the power of Christ to do and be what He has called us to do and be, especially in our marriages.

I am so incredibly thankful for a spouse who loves me unconditionally… even on the days that I do not deserve it! Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

(Inspiration from Paul Washer sermon mix)

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