Continued from Monday . . .
That leaves one final person to talk about. And if I don’t talk about Him then none of this can make sense. Everything I’ve said so far hinges on both husband and wife understanding how Christ loved the church and I am inadequate to ever fully explain that. But it would be wrong if I didn’t try to give you some small glimpse of His amazing grace. To tell of the great love of my precious Savior. The Bible tells us that Christ’s love was revealed by dying for a people while they sinned against Him. You see if we don’t understand our sin we cannot understand Christ’s love.
Did you ever wake up in the morning and wonder “where did all the stars go?” Did they all just disappear? No – but we only ever see them shining in their glory against the background of a dark night sky. And the cross of Jesus Christ shines in its glory against the dark background of our sin against Him – and it was only when God helped me to see the awful darkness of my sin against Him that I could start to see the depth of His love for me in sending Jesus Christ - and this has everything to do with marriage!
Sin is so offensive to God, not only because of how evil sin is, but also because of how perfect God is. Good judges can never ignore crime. How much more can God never ignore every time we break one of his laws. If I lie to my daughter she can do nothing to me. But if I lie to my wife I’m going to be sleeping on the sofa. If I lie to my boss he can fire me and if I lie to the government they can throw me in jail. Did you notice that it was the same crime but when I did it against a higher authority the consequence became more and more severe. How serious is it to lie against an infinite authority? It is an infinite crime and that is why there is a hell.
I used to ask how can a loving God send people to hell? But then I realized that I was asking the wrong question. The right question was “how does God put up with me?” And there are times in marriage when you’ll be wondering “how can I ever put up with her” or “how can I ever put up with him”? Those are the times when you need to look in the other direction toward the cross and remember how much mercy God gave you and how He calls you to reflect that love to your sinful partner.
If you really see the dark night sky of your own sin then the question you will ask is this – How can God ever forgive me without violating His goodness and justice? How can He be both just and the justifier? How can He save me from the hell that I deserve? There was only one way and that is why He is the only way - it would cost Him everything! The God Who created the universe had to become a man, Jesus Christ, and live a perfect life keeping all of the laws that we have broken. He then had to die on a cross as a substitute, suffering God’s holy wrath that we deserve. God treated Christ as if He had lived our life so that He could treat us as if we had lived His - if we repent from our sin and cry out to Him for mercy.
Let me ask you – is God’s grace really amazing to you? May God’s amazing love be the fuel that keeps the fire of your love blazing for your spouse. May you always look in the direction of the cross when you don’t like what you see in the direction of your partner. Never move on from the cross. Dive deeper into it full of awe and wonder so that the wife's submission to her husband, and the husband's love for his bride will be a shining star of the resurrected Jesus in a very dark world.
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Weekend A La Carte (December 16)
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