Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Redeemed Marriage




Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them,
I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house,
who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock;
and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house
and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly,
is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation;
and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed,
and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49.





Is your marriage all you hoped it would be?

Do you believe that if both you and your wife were willing to take certain steps that your marriage could be remarkably better? If your answer is yes, as is the case ninety percent of the time, why are both of you not taking those important steps?


I had a talk the other day with a very wise man on the phone and he asked me a question that zeroed in on an important question for most of us. “Have you ever wondered why when two people work hard at the same job, have the same training, perform basically the same tasks, both giving it their apparent best; and one has great success and the other fails miserably? I’ll be honest with you my friend, I replied; “I don’t know why.” His answer in fact was clearly something that I did know, but obviously needed to hear again; “SKILLS.” One person has skills that the other does not.

This leads me to today’s Question for you: “Why do many people have a happy and fulfilling marriage and so many others who seem to be trying just as hard fail miserably?”

The answer is basically the same as the wise man’s above: … those with the happy and successful marriages have learned skills and are responsibly applying these skills; those failing are very often basically self-centered and are unconsciously following their feelings, lust, and pride to failure. Some have been taught what to do and are committed to doing it; … others have not listened, and are not practicing the proper skills. I have watched the solutions we will discuss here applied and succeed in remarkable ways over and over again. Some would call it miraculous. I believe it is just the way marriages are supposed to be in God's kingdom.

Success is certain when we put Christ first. Failure surely comes to those who refuse to do what they need to do. These skills, when learned and applied; work for newlyweds, as well as those who have been married for thirty years. So read carefully, memorize God's instructions, and come to agreement with your mate, and watch as your marriage is transformed … right before your eyes. And forward this post to every couple you know. They will thank you for it.

This brings us to the first key point to having a Redeemed Marriage. Both partners must agree to submit the leadership of their life and marriage over to the Lord Jesus Christ. God must be the final authority in your marriage. A foundational principle in Biblical counseling is that positive results are absolute when a person is willing to trust in God and live by his Word; but to follow our feelings, flesh, and pride just as surely leads to failure and misery. But what about all of the other religions, and what they teach ... you ask? I can’t speak for them, but I can say Christianity is monotheistic. Sorry about that ... you teachers of tolerance and political correctness. There is only room for one God here. All other teachings and philosophies must be humbled to God's Word. Although this is an exclusive club, everyone is free to join or go their own way; but you must follow the rules. Rule number one: No Other Gods, which leads to the question: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46-49. There are millions who fall into this category: "I am a Christian, they say as they choose to do whatever they want and follow whatever philosophies they choose. The definition for these people is: HYPOCRITE.

Are you beginning to see the power of the lesson you are about to learn? With God as the head of your marriage ... He is the power! His promises are absolute. You can both now stand together, confidently, on His Truth. Don’t even bother to move on until both you and your spouse establish your position here. This point is the foundation to all of life, and especially marriage. A marriage going in the wrong direction is doomed to fail. Can you imagine the certain result when a couple is going in two different wrong directions … at the same time? All those who have experienced this dilemma will gladly warn you of the miserable results. Without a total commitment by at least one, this counsel will not work. I have sat in front of a Christian couple where one person said; “absolutely, I want Jesus and His Word as the final authority in our marriage” and the other said; “no way.” I have also listened to a man who agreed to put God as the final authority in his marriage … only to be caught by his wife in an adulterous act ... the very next day. I have witnessed one person trust Christ, and watched as their foolish mate lost everything to an affair, before he finally turned back to Christ and his faithful wife; who was waiting for him. But most people when they see the power of this message, trust God with the leadership of their marriage, and experience the greatest victory imaginable. So which way is it for you?

Will you commit to do what God’s Word leads you to do; or will you follow your feelings, lust, and pride?

If you and your mate both answered: “I will trust God” … congratulations. Now you must understand what that means. God is the final authority of all disagreements, disputes, and major decisions. Through prayer and the study of His word He will make your path clear. Once, God makes his will known to you … you have both agreed to follow. Trust Him and rest knowing He will never forsake you or desert you. Here is the promise: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6. This is so simple and true. Why is it so hard to follow? Because when you have two people, both who were born self-centered; and both want what they want. Both living for God is the only solution that never fails.

And be sure that you know this: Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” Hebrews 13:5-6. I have pointed to this verse to demonstrate how easy it is to have a false god in the middle of your marriage, and not even realize it. If money and all of the things that you have bought on credit are now controlling your life and your decisions, remove these false gods, so that you can think straight and submit to your Creator and Lord.

For more clarity, let’s look closer at various definitions of the word redeemed: To buy back, or repurchase. To free from what distresses or harms, … an example here would be to free from captivity by payment of ransom; or to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental. Also, to be released from blame or debt, and to free from the consequences of sin. Next we have to change for the better or reform, repair, and restore. To free from a lien by payment. And lastly, to atone or redeem an error, and to offset the bad effect of bad judgment and to make something worthwhile. We are excited to be redeemed by the blood of the lamb in our personal life ... but we also need to pray for and live out a redeemed marriage.

Do you see the pattern here? Many of us have allowed ourselves to fall into excessive debt. During these troubled economic times, these debts only lead to problems and troubles that force us to submit our attention to a false god. In the opening verse Jesus talks about building your house on a solid foundation so that when the flood occurs, your house will stand. A house that is built upon loans that cannot likely be repaid is standing on a false foundation that is headed for trouble. Since America’s leaders have built our entire society on a financial house of cards, everyone in America is now in jeopardy. Only the Lord can deliver us from this predictable calamity.

Individually, our problem is: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” I stand guilty. I am a loan broker, and I fell for the allure of my own product. If we lose that which we never really owned … we are actually better off. He has promised; “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself: perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. A marriage that stands with the redeemer as it's Lord will surely stand redeemed. And he has promised: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
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To Him be dominion forever and ever. WE MUST MAKE HIM LORD. Not just say it … do it. He is sovereign and the supreme authority; He has the power of governing and controlling us; we are no longer our own, He has the right of possession, use, and control of our lives; based upon what he did for all of us at Calvary. You can have a victorious redeemed marriage but it must be on God’s terms. When we say I am redeemed but then unconsciously go our own way, this is both foolish and hypocritical.

I will ask you once again … Will you commit to do what God’s Word leads you to do; or will you follow your feelings, lust, and pride?

To read more go to Redeemed Marriage 2

Click here to read Redeemed Marriage 2 ...

God Bless you my friends, Bob


Copyright Bob West 2010

2 comments:

  1. Bob -

    My wife and I are living proof of a redeemed marriage. We were married years ago before we were saved. After only 3 years, we divorced because we couldn't find a way on our own.

    A couple years later, we both came to Christ (even though we were divorced living in different states, and barely keeping any kind of communication.)

    A couple years later than that, we remarried. It wasn't an easy process, and it still isn't. One thing that we know is that we're committed to God and to each other.

    We still have baggage we're trying to work through that goes back to our first marriage and beyond. How sin affects our lives and compounds itself over the years. It's devastating. It would have been far better had we have listened to God way back when.

    There is hope. Even when it seems like there isn't. Our problems aren't money or recognizing God's authority in our marriage. Our problems go much deeper. But I believe God will help us through them.

    God never promised a life of "happiness." Joy is different, especially when it involves Who our joy is in. No, God promises He will never leave us nor forsake us. That is enough. As our pastor said once, God is not concerned about our happiness, but our holiness.

    We do need Him everyday to help us through.

    Great post Bob. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Dean for the incredible testimony. I am sure you and your wife are now an example that many look up to.

    God bless you both,

    your friend, Bob

    ReplyDelete