I'll just be honest, I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks; very rough. However, my hope is strong. I’m not 100% sure what this post will accomplish, but I’m compelled to share just in case you feel like me.
Disclaimer: it’s mostly not a warm-fuzzy post. Also, it’s long.
First off, Selena and I are doing great in our marriage. Adelaide (our 19 month old daughter) is healthy, happy, and just plain awesome. God’s grace is evident in every area of life. We have SO much be thankful for–far too much, it seems…
In light of current events
Why the tough time? Well, I’ve been reading the news… Here’s some of what I’ve seen (in no particular order):
- Just yesterday a video was released where a head doctor at Planned Parenthood nonchalantly describes how they abort babies in order to preserve the most valuable body parts so they can sell them.
- I’ve read about the latest trends in online porn viewership, where the word “teen” is the top search term among billions of pornography searches.
- We saw our nation celebrate a redefined, non-biblical view of marriage. (We see the Bible is our ultimate authority, therefore we hold the traditional view that marriage is defined in the Bible as a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman.)
- We’ve watched the continuing atrocities unfold in Sudan where one man, a missionary, serves as the only doctor for half a million (that’s 1/500,000) people who live in fear of bombings, starvation, and disease outbreak every day.
- I’ve read about the latest ISIS strikes where they’ve killed our Christian brothers and sisters (as well as others) in increasingly shocking and brutal ways.
I know, what a downer, right? Also, what in the world does this have to do with marriage? And where’s the hope? Stick with me…
Weightiness isn’t always a bad thing
The thing that gets me the most is when I read these articles, namely the ones where people are suffering and dying, it’s usually while I’m sipping coffee or doing something trivial.
I can’t help but think things like:
- What was I doing while those people were dying?
- Was I ordering one of my finicky iced coffees from Starbucks?
- Was I playing with my daughter at the playground?
- Was I browsing my Netflix queue, or was I sleeping soundly without a care in the world?”
I know this is heavy. I know. But frankly I think we need more weight in our lives.
It seems that levity has become the norm for our day-to-day interactions with other humans. If we can’t laugh it off, we’re uncomfortable and we move on.
We need more weight. We need more conviction. We need more urgency. We need more perspective.
And all of this has direct tie-ins with our married lives (as I’ll explain).
Light shines brightest in the darkness
During my devotions this morning I read a verse that (finally) provided some hope. One might think that every verse should provide hope, and indeed they do, but I don’t always feel it. This morning I felt it.
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
We must remember that nothing is a mystery to God. He knows all, He sees all. God sees the brokenness in the world around us and nothing surprises Him. Even more amazingly, God isn’t bound by time in the slightest. He saw everything before it happened and He sees all before it will happen.
God. Is. Sovereign.
He knew of the atrocities we’d commit and still–still–he made himself “lower than the angels” so “he might taste death for everyone.” Perhaps my epiphany is exegetically wanting… I’ve not researched the nuances of that particular scripture. However, I do believe the clearest point remains true: God lowered himself to save us and give us hope in every circumstance.
Hope! Our hope is in Jesus, and we’re one day closer than we were yesterday… We’re one day closer to complete restoration! We’re one day closer to being with God!
That’s the hope I’m holding onto today, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s not just hope to make me feel better.
That same hope compels me to do something, and I’m writing this post because I want it to do the same for you.
Let’s bring it around to marriage
Ok, so what does all of this have to do with marriage? Here it is.
Selena and I spend many hours creating content for you to read and consume- all to help you have a more Christ-centered marriage. We provide images, blog posts, tweets, and encouraging notes. We do this because we feel God has called us to do it.
But why? To what end?
Why do we fight for marriages? And why should you fight tooth-and-nail for yours?
One quick answer might be so you can have a healthy, thriving marriage. Those things are good. However, is that the crux of marriage?… To be happy?
I don’t think so.
Experiencing God’s grace, extending His glory
As I mentioned above, I feel like things for us are too good. What did I do to deserve a life of freedom and relative luxury? What did I do to deserve my health and that of my family? Nothing.
The only answer I can come up with is grace – unmerited, undeserved grace.
Here I sit: healthy, free, and unafraid.
Friends, anything good we have is by God’s grace alone, marriages included. It’s all a gift – a really, really good gift. You don’t need to feel guilty or bad for receiving a gift, but you should feel gratitude.
Maybe you need to hear this (I know I do): it’s good to enjoy the graces of God! When we experience God’s grace, and attribute all goodness to Him, the glory (and responsibility) of all goes to Him.
However, the same grace that we enjoy should also radically compel us to do something in response. This is not a works-based striving, but rather a glad stewardship of what God has freely given.
That’s called extending God’s glory. And that’s why Fierce Marriage exists.
Our mission: to point couples toward Christ and mobilize marriages to spread the gospel.
That’s the entire point of this post – to urge you to extend God’s glory boldly however He’s calling you.
Maybe God is calling you to adopt? Maybe He’s calling you to give to relief efforts? Maybe He’s calling you to open your home to poor or disenfranchised people in your community? Get more involved in church? Plant a church (whoa)? Missions?
When we recognize God’s free grace all over our lives, we’re compelled to look outward. We work on our marriages, yes, but not primarily for our own benefit (though we do benefit). We work on our marriages so we can better obey God and glorify Him through our union.
To me, that seems like the most comprehensive view of why we should make our marriages better. Not simply for ourselves, but for God’s glory on all levels.
We’ll be here. Will you join us?
As I mentioned, that’s why we write and maintain Fierce Marriage: to extend God’s glory.
Our vision is to build a strong community of Jesus-loving married couples who desire to fight fiercely to advance the gospel.
We plan to do this thing as long as God allows. In fact, we’d be honored if you’d join us. I normally wouldn’t end a post like this, but I feel like I should. I’ll include a ridiculously big button below if you’d like to partner with us monthly.
Either way, I do hope you feel the weight of what’s going on in the world… but NOT more than you feel hope in Christ and what he has done.
Finally, may that same hope compel you to do something through your marriage to share the light of the gospel boldly…however and wherever God calls you.