God knew in advance the two of you would marry. He chose you to be together, to live out your life as an example of Christ and his church. What does this look like in our marriage? How do we live a married life “worthy of the calling” we have received? We may be obedient in our call as individuals to do everything in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to God, living in harmony with others, loving and serving others; but how are we doing this as husband and wife, as one flesh?
Building a marriage “worthy of our calling” means that we pay attention to our call, our part, in the most glorious work ever known: the advancement of God’s kingdom. What if we focused on a portion of Ephesians 4:1-3 to read like this?
I urge you to build a marriage worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Author Gary Thomas, calls the advancement of God’s kingdom the “magnificent obsession.” We bring dignity to our marriage, but we also have something greater to aim for. Happiness is wonderful, but this magnificent obsession is even bigger (not fighting our happiness, just bigger).
Humility and Gentleness
As we are creating a marriage worthy of our calling, we are creating a marriage where the character of Jesus is displayed for all to see. Our calling is to become more Christlike. We should seek the kind of marriage that serves our calling, rather than seeking to build the kind of marriage we want. According to Paul’s words in Ephesians 4, we need to be humble and gentle. Humble with our spouse, our children, our co-workers, other parents at the soccer games, other moms at the school, our neighbors, and people we see and serve at church, because Jesus is gentle with his church. We are to be humble, because Jesus was humble.
Without God’s word, his instruction, we may never give a second thought to gentleness or humility. There may be times we don’t give it a first thought. We may find compatibility with our spouse, in liking the same Netflix series or the same restaurant. We find security or something as fabulous as making each other laugh. These things are not wrong, but there is something wrong when there is a lack of gentleness and humility. I’m guessing most clients are not requesting to meet with a counselor to learn how to be gentle and humble in their relationships.
Care For Each Other
So how can we aspire to have a marriage worthy of our calling? We do not act or speak harshly to each other. We do not pressure each other, dropping our own expectations or dreams on our spouse. God calls us to be a servant, mutually caring for one another. This is the best way to model our calling. When people see the way you treat your spouse, they are reminded of Jesus.
Our culture screams everything but humility, yet Jesus showcased humility, so we must showcase humility as we proclaim Jesus to the world. Pride destroys relationships and wrecks marriages. Pride is not worthy of our calling to proclaim a Savior who “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7).
Do you see the difference? Instead of trying to grow a marriage we want, a magnificent obsession leads us to seek to build the kind of marriage that reveals Jesus to the world.
To Do This Week:
- Spend some time together. Take a look at your marriage. Does it reflect the character of Jesus to the world?
- Be intentional in the way you act and speak to each other. What are some humble and gentle ways to communicate and encourage each other through the craziness of life?
- In your Bible study this week, take a look at the character of Christ. Pray. How can you put these into practice as you build a marriage “worthy of his calling?”
Content based on one of many fabulous resources: Focus on the Family/A Marriage Worthy of Our Calling, May 15, 2015
Joy in Him,
NorthPointe Marriage Ministry
**Be sure to subscribe to our blog for encouragement, resources, and upcoming events.