What is on my heart at this time is the increasing awareness that many of us are or have been holding our marriage as a thing of time and of this earth.
If we really think about God coming in man form in Christ Jesus in order to redeem back mankind and all of creation, and we think about how He translated us from the power and realm of total darkness into His glorious light—– then it becomes very clear that one of the main things the Lord is doing with His truly born from above children is getting them out and off of the earth in spirit, in order to teach them the way of Heaven to be lived in and by and only through the Life of the Risen Lord dwelling within them!
We are all so earthbound—and it is limiting and hindering the Lord in His being able to not only conform us to Christ, but to reveal more and more of Himself to our hearts. When we are earthbound, and everything for us has to do only for time and this earth, we are limited greatly! We will not be able to come to the full stature of Christ if we are still setting our eyes on this earth and holding everything for time and this earth.
Lifting All Things To Higher Ground In Christ
If we take the whole of the Ephesians Letter, we will be able to break it up in the following ways:
- Chapters 1-3 include all of that which has been given us in Christ, all the spiritual blessings and inheritance that is in Him alone, and life in the Spirit
- Chapters 4-5 include what life and relationships should be like according to the Spirit
- Chapter 6 includes the warfare that will rage all around these things!
When we can look at the whole of that letter in its separate parts, we can see how when we are in Christ, walking in the Spirit, everything pertaining to our life as here on earth and relationships is to be lived out in and by the Spirit of God, on a higher level all together than that of the life of nature and in Adam.
So we can rightly pick the marriage relationship out of this, and see how the Lord would have us to lift our marriage relationship into a higher realm than that of time and of the earth!
The Higher REALM Is Christ
When we are in Christ, all the temporal things of this earth and this life are governed by SPIRITUAL INTERESTS. That means that, in all areas of our life, and in relationships, there are spiritual values in all of it that we are to learn and gain. It means that the Lord’s interests are to be served in these relationships. It means that the purpose of the relationship is to represent Christ, and be a vessel of His Testimony.
But in order for our marriage relationship to yield any spiritual value, we must first lift it up to higher ground than that of the earth and time. We must lift it into the realm where Christ is.
And we must see that this relationship is not for time or for the earth, but for the Lord and His purposes.
And when we have our marriage lifted up onto the ground of Christ:
- We are free from all the world’s ideas and standards and judgments about this relationship
- We are free from all the personal desires we have for this relationship
- We are free from trying to rule and order our marriage to produce what we want in this life
- We are free from everything that is merely of time and of the earth as a thing for the here and now and to be of some gratification to us for our own purposes
When we lift our marriage onto higher ground, we see that there is much to be learned of spiritual value in it, when things are rightly ordered.
Spiritual Value & Interests
The spiritual values in it are probably endless, but for practical purposes, the value of this relationship in teaching us Christ involves things like:
- learning to let go of our self with all it’s personal interests (The Cross)
- learning to trust in the Lord and our husband (if he is worthy of that trust!) and not lean on our self anymore
- learning to depend on the Lord our and husband (if he is worthy of all our dependence!) and not lean on our self
- learning to love like Christ, with a self-less, not SELFISH love, that loves not to get something in return
- learning to submit to the Lord and husband (if he is worthy of that and not abusing authority) and not go our own way anymore or demand our own way
In all these ways, we come to know the Lord through our marriage relationship.
In the same way, we also serve the Lord’s interests in our marriages when our one desire is for Christ to have His rights in it. That means that more than anything else, we want the Lord to have a testimony in and by our marriage relationship, a testimony to His relationship between Himself and His Church. When we have the Lord’s interests dominating our life and marriages, then the Lord has an open way to create and increase the measure of Christ in us, and therefore, His interests are served and we become the embodiment of Christ through our marriage relationship.
This all might seem confusing or like a far-off thing, but it really isn’t. Because how it works out in real life, in the here and now, is we learn how to look at our husbands as a member of our own body. If we are both born again, then we are apart of the same body of Christ, therefore, whatever we do to him, we are really doing it to ourselves. If we hurt him, we are hurting our own body, ourselves. If we judge him, we are judging ourselves. We are made one in Christ by the same Spirit of Life! (This is why the devil does whatever he can to break up marriages in order to hinder the manifestation of the oneness of Christ and His Body)
It also works out in the here and now by us expressing the grace, mercy, forgiveness, forbearance, meekness, gentleness of Christ towards our husbands when and if they do hurt us or fail to measure up to our high standards. We stick by them NO MATTER WHAT, because we are not married to them for any personal reasons in order to better ourselves or gratify ourselves. “For sickness and in health, richer or poorer”—- this means a lot more than most people understand when they take these vows! Most people only mean for the better and healthy and rich part. The true test of our love comes when things are worse off, sickly, and poor! Will we still stand by our husbands when we are not getting what WE want from them? Will we stick around for the long haul when they (God forbid) get sick or injured or worse?
The test of love is in the trials not in the sunshine days.
And this is a direct testimony to the Church’s love for Christ—even when He is not doing anything at all for us—and it seems as though following Him is for no good reason, when we are not getting what WE wanted from following the Lord!
Lift It Up
All in all, if we are born from above, then our life now is about the Lord and for the Lord—and everything in our life is to be held up to the Lord, for His purposes and interests! And if we can get past ourselves by the true applying of the Cross of Christ, then we will be set free to live and love as from the Lord by the Spirit—and the Lord’s interests will be served, and He will have a testimony in and by our marriages! This is prospect—and the Lord has made it possible by the provision of Christ in us, by His Spirit!
Let us seek the Lord to ever make the Cross real in us, that newness of Life emerges! 🙂