If You Say So - To Your Spouse, Pt 2

Malia and I were lucky enough to have been taught some of these principles prior to getting married.
To those that know us, it's obvious that we still have our issues, as most married couples do.  In our marriage, we strive to deal with issues or problems as they come up. We don't push them off until they become part of something much larger. The illustration of the overflowing laundry hamper is perfect.  One dirty shirt isn't reason to freak out, but a weeks' worth of five people's dirty clothes can be overwhelming.  We don't have a lot of fights or arguments, but when we do, we try to address them as they come to keep small things small. I'm sure most of you have heard at one point the joke about a man telling his buddy that in arguments, his wife doesn't get hysterical; she gets historical. We laugh at this, but in reality, if we love each other as Christ loved us, there is no historical record of our mistakes.
We became one with our spouse on our wedding day, just as we became one with Christ at salvation. When we ask Christ to forgive us of our sins and put our faith in Him, we are secured for eternity. Our sins are remembered no more.  We are reconciled to Christ, holy and blameless. (Col 1:22) God reconciled us to Him through Christ's death and resurrection. Salvation doesn't mean that we won't make any more mistakes.  Salvation means that those mistakes are covered by Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, and we no longer have to suffer the eternal consequences of those mistakes.  We still have to deal with the mess those mistakes create here on this earth, but our eternity and union with Christ are sealed the moment we put our faith in Christ.

—Marriage was designed to mirror God's love for us here on this earth.—

Most wedding days are glorious occasions with friends and family gathered to celebrate the union of two people. When we say those vows, we are pretty much committing to marrying each other no matter what mistakes we make or issues we have. Do you take this woman, in sickness and in health, rich or poor, right?
We accept our spouse just as Christ accepted us, with all our issues. Now, obviously, we don't have the power to offer eternal security. Still, we do have the power through Christ in us to forgive and forget our spouse's mistakes the same way Jesus forgave and forgot ours.  We are called to "forgive each other, just as Christ has forgiven us." (Eph 4:32) Christ didn't just forgive our sins; he also forgot them.  So, when Paul says, "Just as Christ forgave us," that includes forgetting.
Marriage was designed to mirror God's love for us here on this earth. I realize that is a tough comparison to make.  However, this was God's design for our marriages, even though we often fall short.
Like Matt said Sunday, we can't all be like Randy and Vicky, but we can all learn from their example.

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