Abandoning Two Worlds for One – Marriage Message #152

Marriage is an intertwining of two hearts and two lives, along with God’s, to help us live up to our potential. (Cindy Wright)

Young happy bride and groom ride bicycles in the meadowIn thinking about the “intertwining of two hearts” we’d like to challenge you with a devotional by Norm Wright from his book, Quiet Times for Couples published by Harvest House Publishers. We feel he gives us some great things to think about in our quiet times together. In this particular devotional he writes:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ He said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Mark 10:21).

What did you give up in order to marry your partner? Have you ever thought about it? Many individuals today simply try to bring their single lifestyle into their marriage relationship. They think a marriage partner is just one more addition to their already busy lives. They believe they will somehow be able to fit a husband or wife in around everything else.

But a rude awakening occurs when the truth of what marriage really is penetrates these people: “A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but an abandoning of two worlds in order that one new one might be formed. In this sense, the call to be married bears comparison to Jesus’ advice to the rich young man to sell all his possessions and to follow Him. It is a vocation to total abandonment.”

When you married, no doubt you had to make some adjustments and change a few habits. Perhaps you put some educational dreams on hold for a while or even delayed buying a new car.

But as Jesus’ message to the rich young ruler illustrates, true commitment to someone means much more than that. When you married, you began to fulfill one of Jesus’ commands.

Mike Mason relates: “For most people… marriage is the single most wholehearted step they will ever take toward a fulfillment of Jesus’ command to love one’s neighbor, and often enough it’s a neighbor who has been left beaten and wounded on the road of love, whom all the rest of the world has in a sense passed by.”

How can you be faithful in carrying out the commands of Jesus to love your partner selflessly? It can’t be imagined or carried out without the grace and love of God. What a tragedy if His grace were not available. That’s something to thank God for.

In keeping with that thought we’d like to ask you to ask your spouse: “What’s one thing I can do that will improve our marriage this week?” Then another question (if you’re brave enough to ask it) is: “What are three things I can do within this month that will improve our marriage?” These are simple questions that can be extremely helpful to keep your marriage healthy and strong.

Let’s face it; we all have had tendencies to want our spouse to conform to our “ways.” We’ve found one of the easiest ways to abandoning the “two world” concept of marriage is simply by asking one of the above questions. It doesn’t matter how good you think your marriage is today, there’s always room to grow and improve. And who’s more qualified to help us learn and grow in our marriage than our spouse?

We’ve done this exercise in our marriage and have found it to be most helpful in getting our priorities in line with what God’s word tells us: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). In other words, it’s the abandoning of two separate lives and becoming one in commitment, faithfulness, purpose and devotion to one another.

We hope this message, as you pray about it, will facilitate a time of re-evaluation to make sure that your focus and priorities are lined up as they should be so the heart of Christ is revealed and reflected in your marriage so it can be the best it can be.

Steve and Cindy Wright

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