“…O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life! “ (America the Beautiful)
Flags flying high, today Americans across our great land will partake in parades and parties commemorating our Independence. I am grateful for those who fought for our freedoms and those who continue even now to protect us. Those who sacrificed their own good for the good of others.
Last night our family gathered in thanksgiving and in commemoration of something even bigger than this; something that also requires sacrifice.
This something was established before our country… before any country.
On the sixth day of all of creation God created man in his own image…male and female he created them. As it is written in Genesis 2:24 “man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Behold, we have the establishment of marriage!
And like everything God created, He called it very good.
But sin entered the world and tainted all things. Even so, God’s design for marriage, just as the authority of His Word, is never changing.
We’ve read a lot in the news this past week on the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA, but again God’s Word is still not negated. And to be quite honest, marriage has been under attack long before this current issue of whether marriage is limited to a man and woman. Divorce is equally as devastating and contrary to God’s Word. Only we seem to more easily dismiss scripture here forgetting that marriage is an institution worth fighting to protect.
To fight for marriage means we must fight our own sin and selfish hearts. It means we must die to self. It means we must live for the good of another… even on days they don’t deserve it. It means giving grace, granting forgiveness and not holding it over the other.
These things are hard to do, even on a good day. And there is nothing that points out our need for a Savior quite like marriage does. Perhaps a reason why God calls it “very good”!
And the “very good” is exactly what our family is celebrating…God in his faithfulness have given my in-laws 50 years together!
An uncommon occurrence these days, but by God’s grace they have endured and stand as a testimony to us and to our children. What a blessing! And I am thankful that in addition to them, my grandparents have surpassed the 50 year mark by a lot and my own parents are just a few short years from it!
By their lives together, we see the picture that God intended for marriage to portray. The picture of Jesus, the bridegroom, and His church. We, Believers, are the church. And though we constantly disappoint, reject, fail and fall in to sin, Jesus never leaves us. He remains faithful. He forgives. He gives grace. He redeems. He stays covenantally bound for all time to His children, His bride.
“How Beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That choose to forgive and never despise
And as He lay down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as He died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price
How Beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her Groom with His light in her eyes
How Beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful is the body of Christ“
(How Beautiful by Twila Paris)
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