February 15, 2016

Marriage on Lent Day #4

I am hoping you will join us on our 40 day journey of praying for the marriage's of those around us. My sweet friend told me once, "wedding problems are always a spiritual battle," and so with our prayers to the Father, they will be our weapons to fight with God for the hearts and unions of those around us. So get your list and join us in prayer.  The guest posts will bless those who are praying and also those of us who are married or know married people. I love that each post is very different. Get ready for some wonderful encouragement and powerful thoughts and prayers. Enjoy these blessings.
Much thanks to Sue Rhineheimer for her guest post here today.
(I grew up in Arizona at the Tri-City Church of Christ, Sue was our preacher's wife. She blessed our family beyond measure. She was also my mom's best friend.)

Message from the Heart 
Woman was an extraordinary creation.  Her creation was straight from the hand of God.  However, she was not made from directly from the dust, as was Adam.  Woman was formed from the rib of Adam, as a part of him, but separate from him. She was made to be his helper and companion, and assist him in life’s work.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  Repeated by Jesus in Matthew 19:6 when he was questioned about divorce, He went on to explain “therefore what God has joined together let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

The institution of marriage is the foundation providing stability to the home, the nation, and ultimately the world.  If the marriage can be destroyed, then the family, the nation, and the world can also be destroyed; a very good reason to keep our marriages strong.

But there is another reason that Satan, the liar from the beginning, works so hard to destroy marriages.  Marriage is a picture of the relationship of Christ and His church. Paul ends his description of marriage in Ephesians 5:24-32 by saying in clear words, “I am talking about Christ and the church”!  He is showing the relationship Christ has to the church by painting the beautiful and loving picture of marriage.

Just as Eve was born from the pierced side of Adam as he slept, the church was born from pierced side of Christ as He died on a Roman cross. The radiant and glorious church was brought forth with blood and water. The church, as the Bride of Christ is worth His very life. He shed His blood to bring it into existence.

Our marriages must be cherished so we as Christians can impress the world of the sacrificial and enduring love of Christ.  As Christ nurtures the church, He shows husbands how to care for and nurture his wife. As the church brings glory to Christ, a wife is shown how to bring glory to her husband and aid him in his life’s work. Just as a husband and wife are one flesh, Christ and His church are also one. His spiritual and eternal love for us is pictured everyday in the sacrificial and enduring love of our own marriages.

Being aware of this beautiful symbol of Christ and His church, we must do all we can to cherish marriage in our own lives and in those of our family and friends. Satan’s desire is that this picture of Christ and His church be corrupted and destroyed. Thus he directs ongoing and vicious attacks against our homes.  But we must never allow him to enter into this scene for marriage is a living and ongoing example of Christ and His church.

Prayer for Marriages
“Lord, help us to protect and cherish the marriages in our world today.  Help us to use our marriages to point the world to the tender and loving relationship that Christ has offered to all who will come.  Help us to keep our own marriages strong and to give real support to the marriages of our friends and family.   We pray this is the name of our loving and gracious husband-redeemer, Jesus Christ.”

Taken from:  Windows into Eternity, 2005, by Sue Rhineheimer