Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spiritual Intimacy in Our Marriages - Part Three

Well, in the last two parts of this series, we have explored the pitfalls that hamper our spiritual intimacy in our marriages. We have looked at excuses, low-level anger and a lack of forgiveness. Today we are going to explore how two new road blocks can effect our marriages, so lets begin. 4. Lack of Respect Marriage brings out both the best in us…and the worst! There are seasons in our lives where we can easily go in and out of respect for one another. Decisions that were made, actions that were taken and words that were spoken can take us to either side of that pendulum. We need to remember that we are all human and every day, every breath we take we prove to ourselves and to those around us why we so desperately need a Saviour! The biblical term grace means unmerited favor. God showed us grace through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:16-17; Romans 3:21-24) and by Gods grace we have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-10) and in turn we should extend grace to our spouse. Let’s not forget that Golden Rule that we were taught when we were children: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 Let’s look at a biblical example in John 8:4-11 The Jews brought a woman to Jesus who was caught engaging in adultery. No doubt she was deeply ashamed as they discussed her fate in her presence. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. Jesus treated this woman with great respect and did not embarrass her or scorn her. He simple spoke truth in love to her. How can we look with scorn at our spouses behavior when we ourselves are guilty of sin in our own lives? We can not condone sin in others, but we can speak truth and love into their lives and allow God to deal with their sin. 5. Spiritual Warfare I don’t know about you, but I believe there is a spiritual battle that takes place for the soul of every marriage. Satan will do whatever it takes to destroy spiritual intimacy within a Christian couple, but satan also does something else that is even more subtle: he causes a couple to settle for a lack of spiritual intimacy. Satan is very much aware of the heavenly powers that are against him so he attacks the very area of a marriage that can bring about generation upon generation of spiritual understanding and growth to come. The Bible is clear: “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NASB). James 4:7-8 gives us the strategy for winning this battle: “Submit yourselves…to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Don’t underestimate the spiritual battle taking place for the spiritual intimacy of your marriage. We all must take a proactive stance in this area of our marriage. The life buoy is in our sight, lets do all that we can to get it and hang on! I don’t know about you but I truly want a joyful, strong and God-honoring marriage!

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