Monday, June 25, 2012

Marriage By Christ

If we shortcut living by the Spirit, we’ll not get where we want to go. 

Rather than trust and rely upon the Spirit and His perfect production of life and love and grace for marriage, we’ve been tricked into accepting standards of expected marital behavior and the fleshly posturing necessary to achieve them.  When we tell Christians how they should behave according to an agreed upon standard, we’ve set them up for failure; we might as well have told them to obey the Law as a means of enjoying the Christian life.

Life by standards, especially married life, makes vigilant Pharisees of us.  Not only must I scrutinize my every move, but also I will naturally be hawkish about my wife.  That does not make for a trusting and loving relationship.  Performance based vigilance means judgmental brains and stimulated flesh, which means undiscovered hearts and lethargic spirits.  The cost?  We will miss the awe that comes from discovering Christ in us, perfect for every situation and need and relationship.  He does the work in us; we get the experience.

Imagine Jesus loving your husband or wife.  Would He be good at it?  Would He have the feelings for it?  Or would He have to act like He did?  You know the answers.

Last question:  Where is Jesus?  I bet you know.  Think of the work He could do from where He is.  Have a few chats with the One who lives in you.  Listen for the One who will never burden you with what He is particularly good at doing for Himself.  He will produce in you what He is like.  Remember that thing about His yoke being easy, His burden light?   



  1. Mike Mckinzie7:49 PM

    I get married in less than a month, thanks Ralph, I have some introspection to do just to make sure my motives are correct.
    But dude.maybe I am misunderstanding but I do have certain standards, i have hundreds of moral choices to make everyday, I often ask myself is this good for God? does it edify Christ? Will it hurt anyone? Will anyone but think bad of christians if I do this in front of them? Have I lost your intent? teach me. Please.

  2. Mike, look to Jesus--you know, Him. The One. The Man. Introspection is often a waste and can be harmful if it isn't with Him! He truly knows the real you, the one He made, and all of His counsel will be accurate and kind and loving. Right?

  3. Kimberly Ann Thompson7:49 PM

    I appreciate this truth! Thank you. :)

  4. Mike Mckinzie7:50 PM

    Gonna reread your first book. Prolly more for me to get from it. This will be the third time. Thanks

  5. Dottie Ryan7:51 PM

    Ralph, do you have a second book?

  6. Dottie, my first book, "Better Off Than You Think," was poorly handled by the publisher, so they gave me back the rights to it. Harvest House wanted it, re-named it, and asked for 15,000 more words. Most of those are in a big single chapter, "Stripping Mummies: Finding Life and Freedom Outside the Tomb." It's mostly about sharing Christ's reconciliation with each other. I'm thrilled to have been able to include it in the "new" book. I'm currently working on a second book. . .

  7. Ben Thompson8:20 PM

    ‎"Ours is to know and believe and trust and rest: His is to do well." Raplh, this pretty much sums up life in Christ. I'm glad you mentioned that (among the rest along with the original post). Some days I wake up in the morning and find the enemy's weapons of fear and doubt race across my mind, but it doesn't take long to realize that they are mere tactics to cast doubt of His unconditional love. The more I listen to the Gospel in its simplicity, the easier it is to recognize those tactics and allow Him to reassure me of my place in Him.