Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Marriage: A Little Something About Marriage

John 3:3

“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

IMG_0301Yesterday was a sweet time of worship.  I’m always on a high for Easter – aren’t you?  Yesterday was something special – better than the normal Easter – whatever that measures out to be.  I hope you felt that way too.  I’d love to hear from you about how Easter worship blessed you.  I was sick all week – but the prayers of the people of God got me through a wonderful week.

We mentioned that Easter is different if you walk to the cross first – if you take a deep look at the Cross of Calvary and the love of Christ in sacrificing His life for us.  I hope you were able to do that this year – and if you did – maybe that is why Easter was special this year.  If you attended our Good Friday service and experienced the cross – I imagine Easter will never be the same for you.  I would love to hear what you thought of Friday’s service.

Today I wanted to add something – unless we are born again – a follower of Christ – a Christian – Easter is merely a nice holiday with bunnies – chocolate – eggs – spiral ham – maybe attendance in church and possibly some family gatherings.  Jesus makes it very clear – in several places in the Bible – that being His follower is required for eternity in heaven – eternity in His presence.

With that as the backdrop – I want to talk about the family – and specifically – today – couples.  On several occasions I have mentioned that hurting people hurt others because of their choices – the choices of others – and Satan’s attacks.  I want to talk about a very important choice we might all face or have faced – that of choosing a life partner.  With three daughters and soon to be four granddaughters – this is on my heart.

Some people have litmus tests for whom they will date or marry.  Have you ever developed one yourself?  Here are some examples: tall – dark and handsome – good job – funny – good personality – intelligent – a good conversationalist.  Looks – looks – looks!  Athletic – fun to be with – a good family man or woman.  The lists could continue.  Do you have a list?  Did you have a list?  What would be on your list?

When our daughters were growing up – we prayed for three things for their future partners in life. In reverse order they were: 3) that they would work hard together to provide for themselves (good work ethic), 2) that this person would love our daughter almost as much as we do, (love them) and 1) that this person loved Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior (a Christian – not just a church attendee).

The Bible talks about being unequally yoked.  2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? Jesus says; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

My mother use to say to me – don’t date anyone you wouldn’t marry – which means – don’t date anyone with character traits or other issues that you couldn’t accept in marriage.  If he smokes – and you can’t accept that – don’t even date unless he proves he has stopped.  If she gossips – and you can’t stand that (and you shouldn’t) – don’t even date until she proves she has stopped.  Thinking you will change her/him after you start dating or are married is a failed philosophy way too often.  Too many times people go into relationships with the thought that they will change their partner – and more often than not – that fails!

So if you wouldn’t want to marry a non-Christian – don’t date one.  If you believe that the only way into the eternal presence of God is through Jesus Christ – don’t date someone who doesn’t believe the same way.  It is too essential for you and for your future family.  It is too hard to raise children alone – either physically or in the faith.  I have seen way too many couples who were unequally yoked and the harm it causes – temporally and I imagine – eternally – is beyond measure at times.

We have choices in life – and at times our choices cause us pain.  Here is one choice you can make that has a better chance of being a good one if you seek to partner with someone who has a deep love for Jesus Christ (not just a church attendee).  And believe me – there are far more harmful or painful things than staying single – like being married to the wrong person!

Easter is a great celebration for those who have chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior.  I pray that you marriage – present or future – will also be a time of celebration as you make the right choice – a choice that is God honoring.  Starting Sunday we will be preaching a sermon series on marriage! Stay tuned!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 6, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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