I thought I knew the Gospel before I met my husband. And yes, in many ways, I did. Yet, the love of Christ, I realize now, was distant and even dull relative to what I have come to know through our messy, beautiful life together. This friends, is what the God of the Gospel intends—to declare Himself through marriage.
Here are 5 key Gospel declarations found through marriage:
The Gospel Is Intimate: We are not meant to hold our spouses at arm’s length. We are meant to come close, to know one another in our great brokenness. We are meant to love amid our mess. And so, the Gospel reveals itself in our, and our spouse’s, yuckiness. God’s love through Christ is the golden thread which binds us together in marriage. When we know the Gospel intellectually, and even in our heart, we still need its gritty reality—which marriage provides. It is then, when we find ourselves as close to someone as we will ever get, we recognize our need for the Gospel. And we bring it closer to our hearts than we have ever known.
The Gospel Is Solid: Marriage doesn’t only show us how close the Gospel is to our brokenness; it stands up amid it. Here, right in the middle of shame and guilt and anxiety and doubt and fear, the Gospel holds its own and says we are God’s own. So many times, I have spoken too quickly, been selfish, and otherwise hurt my husband. But, every time when I have admitted my sin, apologized, asked for forgiveness, because the Gospel is solid, I have received the treasured beauty of my husband’s, and thus, God’s, redeeming love.
The Gospel Is Strong: Here, I am not talking about the kind of strength which is steely and determined or like a superhero in a movie. No. Marriage shows the Gospel strong because it’s Author is strong. And He’s not the kind of strong which runs over things to get ahead. He’s not one who fights for His way. He doesn’t demand to exercise power. Instead, He makes Himself low. He doesn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, even though He is God. And, yes, here, we are to know the same strength. We are called to consider our spouses more highly than ourselves. To truly love in our marriages, we need a strong Gospel and blessedly, we have it and the chance to show it off to the world as the true strength it is.
The Gospel Is Enduring: ‘These three remain, faith, hope and love, BUT the greatest of these is love.’ When all is said and done, and we are dancing with our Bridegroom on the streets of gold, only love will exist. Only. Love. And the King of Love will own us forevermore. One of the deepest ways to walk the road into His arms is marriage. As we love our spouse, we find there is only more love. The well of our hearts gets deeper and deeper. We find through each act of giving and receiving grace, and through simply walking life together, that the Gospel endures. We lift high the Son of Man in our marriage, and we come to find, He remains, wrapping our spouse and us in His ever-faithful arms of love.
The Gospel Is Full: ‘I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.’ Jesus entered time and space to give us a full, abundant life—nothing less. The heart of marriage declares this fullness as true. It is a gleaming testament to a broken world that Jesus is real. As we live out our marriages knowing the Gospel intimately, solidly, strongly and enduringly, we will have full lives!
I am praying for you, and your marriage, right now. I am praying you experience the Gospel in these ways, as I humbly say, I have. God intends nothing less for you and your spouse. And, no matter where you are at, He is ready to enter the sacred space of your covenant, your shared humanity, your great brokenness and bring the wonders of His saving love!
And, if this is your marriage testimony, I am praying you will shine your light brightly to a hurting, broken, hungry-for-the-Gospel world.
Abby is a small-town loving, big city adventurer. She and her husband have worked with high school students most of their lives! Since their internship in Budapest, Hungary in 2005-2006, they have been working with the ministry of CRU. In May of this year, they moved to Hungary answering God's call to work long-term with the students of Central and Eastern Europe. Abby loves to laugh, especially at herself, has a passion for God and making Him known and is ever learning how to do that with three small children, ages 5, 3 and one month. She wouldn't trade the journey for anything! She blogs regularly at Fan the Flame