Identity in Christ Through Marriage
By: Sylvia Reynolds-Blakely
Our relationship with Jesus Christ has the priority in our marriage. When we put God first, we place Him in the position He deserves to be in. When we make Him Lord over our lives and our marriage, He can fulfill the roles of: director of the play, tour guide for the journey, and teacher of all relevant material.
It goes deeper. 1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV) says: “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”
So, if sanctification comes from the faith of the spouse, then their faith in God IS the main thing – THE priority issue. A marriage without God first will fail on every level it was originally designed to thrive in. The most important issue is that you have a PERSONAL relationship with God through JESUS CHRIST. You have to know who you are in Christ to bring a whole person into a marriage.
According to Jimmy Evans, author of Marriage on the Rock, our four core needs as human beings are: (1) acceptance, (2) identity, (3) security, and (4) purpose. Each can only be fully met through a healthy relationship with our Maker and His Son. As His image bearers, there are areas within our inner lives that only He sees, understands, and “gets.” When we try to ask mere humans to meet these core needs, fallible and shortsighted as we ourselves are, the outcome is sure to be unfulfilled souls and frustrated minds.
“You must not have any other god but me.” Exodus 20:3 (NLT)
Placing God first assures that no one, not your spouse or children, will have the position on the pedestal of worship reserved for God. It is easy to idolize the flesh and the things that feed it, but only God is to be worshiped and adored. Once that is settled, you can put your spouse as the next in line, then your children, and so forth. Keeping your priorities intact will richly add to marital stability. Both of you will have the comfort and joy of knowing there is a higher authority you can turn to in times of struggle, restlessness, despair, and the myriad of other emotional states that WILL beset your marriage.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV)
Rest assured that His strength and His strength alone will be the well-source of your marriage. Of course there will be plenty of temptations to attempt the “quick fix” on our own instead of waiting for the better that God has for us. Resist that enemy called “impatience” and wait on the Lord for a renewal of your strength (Isaiah 40:31). You will struggle, and you will stumble, but return to God in prayer for daily renewal. Develop a joint devotional and prayer time to stay rooted and grounded in the strength of His Word and promises to you both.