Weekday Devotionals

Back to the Basics-Covenant Marriage/By Steve Grigg

I want to thank Pastor Daniel for an excellent message!  If you have not heard the message, please watch it.

You would think after 40 years of marriage, doing a devotional on this subject would be easy.  I thought so, at first!  As I wrestled with this devotional message, I came to realize that marriage is like our walk with Christ.  It is personal.  There are things that all believers share in common in both covenant relationships, but each is still a personal journey.  We take into both relationships our past life experiences.  Sometimes there are things that need to be worked through.  I am not necessarily referring to past sin, but things like personal habits, attitudes, and interest.  Some joke about things like toilet paper rolling out the front or the back of the roll, squeezing the toothpaste from the end or the middle, or socks and shirts thrown inside out into the laundry.  Over time simple things can add up to frustration.

In Daniel’s message he gave 3 key elements to make a covenant marriage; Commitment, Care & Attention, and Christ.  Since this is part of a back to the basics message, let me bring up some basic values here at Thrive that I believe can be applied to marriages as well as our spiritual walk.

At Thrive we have four Core Values:
We value passion in our journey with Jesus
We value authenticity and accountability in our relationships
We value excellence in our serve
We value joy in our attitude
We value passion in our journey with Jesus.  Deut.6:5 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  Here passion is more than emotional love, it is an all encompassing reaching out.  It is a commitment to seeking out all that there is about God.  Think how your spouse would feel if they perceived that you pursued them this way.  Think about how you would feel if your spouse pursued you like this.  You are thinking, “This would take a lot of effort.”  Yes, as in our Christian walk, we have to be intentional to have a covenant marriage.  Think about what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  Apply it to your married life.  What a joy to look back on a good marriage.  The blessings of sharing a life together under God’s wisdom. 
Care & Attention
In our walk with Christ, we need to recognize that we have faults.  Paul speaks his truth in 1Tim. 1:15: 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  Like Paul, we need to come to a point where we acknowledge that we sin in our lives.  First, we confess it to God for our redemption.  Later we confess when we fall short.  In our marriages let’s admit to our spouse that we are not perfect.  Like Pastor Daniel does in his life, ask your spouse, “How can I serve you, help you, support you better”?  The five love languages are: Words of affirmation, Quality time, Physical touch, Acts of service, and Receiving gifts.  Learn which of the five love languages is your spouse’s.  My wife’s is acts of service.  I have to work on this.  When we work on this, it shows that we are committed.  It shows that we care and recognize (pay attention to) the other’s needs.  It shows our desire to be authentic and that we recognize a need for accountability.  Seeking to improve also shows that we value excellence in our serve (our marriage).
John 14:5-6: 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Just as it takes Christ in our covenant relationship with God, it takes Christ in a covenant marriage.  Why?  Because you have to work at both.  You need a passion to grow.  You need to be authentic and accountable to keep the relationship healthy.  You need to desire excellence from yourself to stay focused on the goal.  We need joy in our attitude to get beyond the times of unhappiness.  This all takes Christ.  Matt. 11:28-30: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  I hear you thinking, LABOR, HEAVY LADEN, YOKE??  That does not sound like a good marriage!  Every long-married couples that I have heard speak honestly, mentions a time of struggle.   Through Christ it can be a stronger marriage.
Final Thought:
On Sunday I was in both services.  I saw at least 5 marriages of more than 50 years.  My parents have 65 years and counting.  I want that and more.  I pray that you do too!

Philippians 4:12-13:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.




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