By: Pastor Tim Ahlman
Marriage means more than we think. It is not simply about self-actualization. It is not simply about finding a partner for life. It is not simply about having your needs met. It is not about an ecstatic experience of “love.” Our world believes this. Jesus followers should not, yet we often do. Marriage means more than we think.
I was 22 when I married Alexa. She was 22, too. What did we know of marriage? Well, some, but not a lot. God was so gracious to bring family and more mature friends around to shape and mold us. The best piece of marriage advice I ever received is this, “Tim, you married a selfish sinner… but so did she. By the Holy Spirit’s power, daily give your selfishness to Jesus. Trust that your wife will do the same. If you take the lead in doing this, Tim, your marriage will give a glimpse of Jesus’ love for His Bride, the church.” My Dad gave good advice. My wide eyes and heart were in awe – marriage meant way more than my 22-year-old heart ever imagined.
In American culture today, we decide to get married because we are attracted to another person. We “fall in love.” All is wonderful. Yet, give it time. It could be a year or two, or a month or two, but three things usually happen. One, you discover how selfish the other person is. Two, you discover that the lovely person you’ve married has been experiencing the same thing…and they have the nerve to let you know about it. Finally, you conclude that your spouse’s selfishness is more problematic than your own. This cycle of woundedness and blame makes us minimize our own selfishness.
So, what is the path toward health? Each person views their selfish sin as the primary problem in the relationship. They “own” their own sin and confess it to Jesus. Confession and absolution centered in the free gift of the cross and empty tomb of Jesus is the answer. The Gospel helps our marriages mean more than we ever thought possible!
Please join us for the marriage retreat at Gold Canyon Golf Resort on June 2-4. We will talk more about what is shared above, as well as have a LOT of fun! Contact Trey Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register. $350. Space is limited to 15 couples. Please sign up soon!