A New Marriage
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
If you read this title and thought, “Hey, I want a new marriage!” then I have good news for you. You can have a new marriage - not by getting a new partner, but by becoming a new partner. Sound tricky? It is. You have to die first.
The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). That’s what Jesus did for us and that’s what we have to do in order to show our love to others – especially our husband or wife. You may not have to take a bullet or run in front of an oncoming car, but you will need to lay down your life for them.
Let’s face it, we’re selfish people. The most natural thing for us is to look out for number one which leaves everybody else to fend for themselves, including our mate. That’s why it totally revolutionizes your marriage when you are reborn in Christ. You become a brand new person from the inside out.
The old you wants to have your needs met; the new you seeks to meet your spouse’s needs. The old you complains about your husband or wife’s faults; the new you gives praise and encouragement for their hard work and positive qualities. The old you demands to be heard, taking center stage; the new you listens and responds. If you both commit to love God’s way it becomes a competition, with each person trying to out-give the other.
Kelly and I joke about who is currently in the lead in our contest of love. Sometimes he’s ahead and sometimes I am. Either way, it’s good. Nicholas Sparks said, “Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.” Love is definitely a verb.
We hear so much about the warm gushy feelings of love we forget it is a lot more than a feeling! Love is the thing that makes you stay when your beloved is disfigured in a fire. Love is what keeps you together when there’s no money. Love is what holds you steady if your husband or wife develops Alzheimer’s or is disabled or becomes clinically depressed. The only Source for this kind of love is Jesus.
My view of love has significantly deepened over the years. An excellent book on successful marriage is Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. He addresses the hardest challenge there is in marriage – when you give and give, but your mate does not respond in kind. The answer is to get a new perspective:“Ultimately, you practice love or respect because beyond your spouse you see Jesus Christ and you envision a moment when you will be standing before Him at the final judgment, realizing that your marriage was really a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and your reverence for your Lord.” An new marriage, means respecting your husband or loving your wife because you want to please God even more than you want to have your own needs met. When we love like this, heaven cheers and Jesus smiles.
A Fun Way to Build Easter Suspense – create a Reverse Easter Basket:
1. Start your Easter hunt the Sunday before Easter with only one item in your basket.
2. Read the scripture that goes with it and then hide the item in another room for the rest of the family to find.
3. Repeat the hunt until every member of the family has had a chance to hide the item.
4. On Monday, add the next object, read the next scripture and hide both items as before.
5. Repeat each day until on Easter Sunday you have eight objects in the basket to hide.
Here are some items and scriptures you might use. To keep it exciting, next year use different verses from the gospels about Jesus’ last week. And surprise your family by bringing out new things for the basket.
* a donkey figurine: Luke 19:28-44
* a packet of seeds: John 12:23-36
* artificial grapes: Luke 20:9-19
* a bag of gold coins: Luke 22:1-6
* a goblet (plastic or unbreakable): Luke 22:7-30
* a cross: Luke 23:26-49
* a lamb: Isaiah 57:7-12
* a stone: Luke 24:1-49