31-Day Marriage Devotional
ARE YOU “FOR” YOUR SPOUSE?
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
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If you are going to imitate the Lord in your marriage (Ephesians 5:1), being “for” your spouse must be a logical and loving practice. That is how Paul talked to the Romans about the Lord’s attitude toward them. He said God was for them.
And God is for you too. Think just a moment about how God is for you and how that motivates you to love Him. God being “for you” is the highlight of the gospel; He is the one person you cannot have against you.
Before Paul told the Christians in Rome that God was for them in Romans 8:31, he provided a few practical examples of how God was for them (Romans 8:29-30). He talked about God’s active goodness on behalf of those He loves. Here is how he said it:
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
They were not left to wonder about God’s “for-ness” toward them. They felt the assurance of His love, based on His activity. He foreknew them, predestined them, called them, justified them, and glorified them.
Do you remember the context in which Paul wrote Romans? People were killing the Christians in Rome. It was a public slaughter, a time of personal disappointment and defeat. The culture had turned against them, and Paul wanted the believers to know they were not alone: God was there. God was for them.
Not only does he remind them of what God did (vs. 29-30) by bringing them to the point where they could clearly see God’s activity in their lives (vs. 31), but he continued to hammer the gospel nail by repeatedly reminding them of Sovereign God’s protective care. (Read Romans 8:32-39)
Speaking about God’s love for them only once was not enough for Paul. He believed in gospel redundancy–using different words and ways to say the same thing until his audience not only understood what he was saying but that knowledge transformed them.
What better thing could you give to your spouse? If the Lord is for your undeserving spouse and you are for your undeserving spouse, your spouse is in the best place any human could be. The two greatest things that could ever happen to a couple is for them to live in the overflowing awareness of God’s unmerited pleasure while exporting and experiencing each other’s undeniable affection for each other.
Take a Moment to Reflect:
You would do well to follow Paul’s example by examining your heart as it pertains to how you think about and treat your spouse. These questions will aid you as you think about the gospel and its practical outworking in your marriage.
- Is your spouse assured of your love, based on your actions (James 1:22)?
- How can you practice gospel redundancy when it comes to loving your spouse, repeat reminders of your affection?
Ask the Spirit to illuminate your mind so you can see where you may be failing. Ask the Father to give you the power to set aside what you want, while enabling you to provide Christ to your spouse. Be prepared to write down the thoughts that come to mind. Take your soul to task while resisting all temptations to make this about what your spouse has done to you.
Also published on Medium.