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The little boy may have been more interested in paint cans than a properly engineered ladder. But what the father later realized was that the cross-piece that extends to provide a resting place for paint cans is the one part of a stepladder that is truly indispensable! Without it, the inverted V shape of a ladder would collapse to the ground. It is the crosspiece that allows a stepladder to support weight in order to be useful.
If a couple is only joined by a recited vow, their marriage may quickly collapse. If Christ, however, forms the crosspiece that holds their lives into a sturdy triangular shape, they can withstand much pressure.
God gives stability, and so much more, to those who are both committed. Another good analogy is from The Christ Centered Marriage, by Neil T. Anderson and Charles Mylander. The glue that holds the two together is the relationship that each spouse has with God. The strongest architectural design is an equilateral triangle (i.e., all three sides are equal). Should either side of the triangle be broken or weakened, it dramatically affects the strength of the marriage. Notice the husband and wife get closer together as they move closer to God. The closer a man and his wife get to God, the clearer they see how important it is for them to stay close to each other. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
|Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.|
A Christian marriage is a spiritual union with God. It is intended to be a visible expression of the relationship that Christ has with the Church, his Bride. Think of that depth of commitment! Sacrificial love so deep that he would give up his life to save and beautify her. Our relationship with God, through the Bible and prayer, can teach us a lot about honor, patience, forgiveness, working through trials together, sacrificial love and so much more. Lets follow his blue print for marriage and ask him to create a strong and unique marriage with our spouse!
My wife was making salad dressing by mixing and blending ingredients the other day. Then we realized she didnt have any buttermilk for the recipe. Luckily there was a way to create a substitute for buttermilk by mixing in some other ingredients. But marriage is not salad dressing! We can mix in a lot of really good ingredients, but it's never going to quite have the lasting love God has intended for us unless he provides the blueprint and the power to love in our marriages.
Resources: So how do we develop a closer relationship with God in our marriage? The very best place is start studying the Bible and praying together daily. Devotional books for couples are also great resources. Check those already mentioned: Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey is from Regal Books (also on the internet in a very useable format at http://www.familylife-ccc.org/moments/moments.cgi); Gods Little Devotional Book for Couples by Honor Books, Inc; and The Christ Centered Marriage by Neil T. Anderson and Charles Mylander. If only we all would stand strong together and not let other priorities crowd out our important together time studying Gods blueprint for our marriage. Think how strong our families and churches country would become if were all to dedicate ourselves to this starting today!
HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1998, Byron Ware. Used by permission.
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