“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…” Philippians 1:27
As Christians we are all-too aware that we are more sinful and flawed than we know, (Sometimes we’re more aware of our spouse’s flaws than we are of our own) but this is only half of the gospel; we are also more welcomed and loved by God than we ever dared hope or believe. And this applies to our spouse too!
Christ came into our world – with all its limitations, sin and strife – and paved a way of righteousness through each circumstance, struggle and hardship we would ever face. He could have left it at that, giving us a model to follow, but He didn’t! He finished the way with the Cross – His glorious triumphant victory that allows sinners access to this way of righteousness. We are invited to follow him through life embracing His righteousness day by day. It is a narrow road, but free to all that believe.
How does this apply to marriage? In every way! Christ is the husbands model in how He loves the church – Christ is the wives example in how He submits to the Father in total trust and devotion. Christ is our example and the One we desire to be more like. He willingly hung on the Cross for our sins, so we could be fully welcomed by His Father into His eternal Kingdom. It’s the Cross that empowers us to say “no” to the world and all it offers in order to walk this narrow road of faith.
What cross are you facing in your marriage? The good news is that Christ humbled Himself and accepted the Cross for our good. In what ways can you humble yourself and accept this cross for the good of your marriage and the glory of God? We learned at the marriage retreat that God has given us a close friend (our spouse) to fight a close enemy (sin). May we apply the free gift of grace as we travel this road together “side by side for the faith of the gospel!”