The first time I heard my boss/pastor/friend make the statement, ‘Marriage is the greatest way to live out the Gospel’, I think I let out a deep sigh and paused. And over a decade later, that truth still makes me sigh and pause. Why? Because it’s so true! Yet so tough! And totally explains why the enemy loves to attack marriages and families.
By ‘gospel’, I’m referring to Jesus’ life, teachings, death on the cross, and resurrection. The gospel is the ‘good news’ and story of Jesus. And if we are going to put His teachings into action and His grace and truth into practice so His power and love can be revealed, marriage truly is the best place to start! I love how a member of Holy Barre expressed her thoughts in response to one of our YouVersion Bible Reading Plans.
‘I think it’s very brave to embrace being a wife, while at the same time it’s a privilege to love a son of God. For a very long time, Satan has been attacking marriages. I believe our culture echoes these attacks with the normalization of divorce and leaving your spouse when things get tough. My marriage challenges me because my daily bread is dying to myself, dying to my selfishness and pride, and asking God (constantly) how to live up to the standard of being His bride first and how to be a servant in my earthly marriage second. And there are days where I fail miserably. But there is a grace in not knowing what the next day holds, and trusting the Holy Spirit to equip me with whatever I lack.’– Brittany
As we begin our Easter series, Jesus Changes Everything, I thought it’d be helpful to start with our families and marriages. From marriage to parenting to caregiving to celebrations to losses and everything in between, we NEED Jesus! Our roles within our families can be the most challenging and wearing. Family relationships involve the good, the bad, and the ugly yet can be the most beautiful and restorative of all!
The best news is Jesus is ready and willing to help us and desires for us to live freely and lightly! That is the good news of Easter!
Because of Easter, the Holy Spirit now dwells within us – guiding, directing, leading, and filling. From His overflow, we love and live freely and lightly! It’s important to note that our spouse, children, parents, etc will never fill us like the love of Christ. Just like we can’t fully trust or worship or pursue or seek another person more than we do Jesus.
Our true Soul Mate died on the cross for us so that we can spend every day and eternity with Him. He just asks us to remain in His love. Day in and day out. He will give us the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit that we can then share with those around us. May we be filled with His joy so it overflows!
Families get complicated as we consider all aspects and identify the generational struggles, leave legacies for our children and their children, mourn the loss of those who have passed, and find hope in knowing we get to spend eternity with those who have believed in Jesus as their Savior. Jesus changes our families and marriages because our present families and marriages impact more than just our present day. Our families are part of a much larger family.
May our families burn bright, better together, founded on the truth that Jesus changes everything!