Are you living out GOD’S LOVE with one another in your marriage? Are you sure it’s truly God’s love, and not some semblance of it?
When Cindy and I (Steve) were married in 1972 neither one of us were Christ followers. Sure, we went to church on Christmas and Easter, but that was just about all we did together spiritually. Even after we committed our lives to Christ in 1974 it was a long time before I really got the importance of applying God’s word, the Bible, to ALL aspects of our lives with one another.
Living God’s Love
The Bible makes it clear that there is not to be a disconnection between knowing about and reading God’s word, and APPLYING it to how we live with one another. And yet it happens!
Could it be because we stop short of EXPERIENCING GOD? Could it be that we neglect to ask God to help us to live out and experience what He says in His Word, the Bible?
When you do, your marriage will take on a whole new Life—the Life of Christ. We’ve come to experience this in our own marriage and we pray you’ll personally experience it in yours also. Because when you do, you’ll see what a great guide the Bible can be for living with “one another.”
Here’s what Toben and Joanne Heim, in their book, Great Expectations, an Interactive Guide to Your First Year of Marriage (published by NAVPRESS) shared, relating to using God’s word as a guide:
The New Testament is full of what many people call the “one another’s.” These verses about how we should treat other people are essential for learning about community. But in marriage —IN THE COMMUNITY OF TWO —We find the greatest opportunity to learn how to love another person.
The Toben’s go on to say:
When we make the “one anothers” a practice in our marriages, we’re better equipped to reach out to others. So what’s included in the ‘one anothers?'”
That’s when they give a short list of scriptures that could help us to better show one another the type of love God would have us. They come from the Bible paraphrase, THE MESSAGE. It’s a list we take seriously in how we live with one another. We hope you will too.
To Love and Live With One Another in Marriage:
- “Take this moment seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this.” (Matthew 18:20 MSG)
- “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, love one another.” (John 13:34 MSG)
- “So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” (Romans 15:7 MSG)
- “I’ll put this as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 MSG)
- “So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord’s table, be reverent and courteous with one another.” (1 Corinthians 11:33 MSG)
- “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.” (Galatians 5:13 MSG)
- “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 MSG)
- “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” (Ephesians 5:21 MSG)
- “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire.” (Colossians 3:9 MSG)
- “Let the Word of Christ —the Message —have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using common sense. And sing; sing your hearts out to God!”(Colossians 3:16 MSG)
- “Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another!” (1 Thessalonians 4:9 MSG)
- “So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep doing it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 MSG)
- “Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.” (1 Peter 1:22 MSG)
- “No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and His love becomes complete in us —perfect love!” (1 John 4:12 MSG)
The Toben’s go on to say,
“Loving one another, being honest with one another, getting along with one another, reassuring one another, serving one another, encouraging one another, forgiving one another, being considerate of one another —just think what your marriage could be like if you consistently practiced all of these things.”
Applying These “One Another”
The Toben’s suggest that one good way to begin applying these verses in your marriage is to print out the list. Carry it around with you (maybe in your daily calendar). And then pull them out periodically and read a few to remind you of how you are to relate to one another. You can even type them out and post them somewhere so you can review them periodically.
They personally suggest “starting with the holy embrace—or the holy kiss as some other versions of the Bible translate it!” What a great idea!
Cindy and I realize that it’s very easy to forget these “one another’s.” This is especially true at times when things aren’t going well in your marriage. Our prayer for you this week is that as you read over this list it will inspire you to love and serve one another in a way that honors Christ.
We also pray for you to live out your convictions from Hosea 14:9 NLT:
“Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are discerning listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them.“
Steve and Cindy Wright
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