Two Become One - Encouragement Café - September 6, 2017

Two Become One
By Beth Mabe Gianopulos

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.”  Ephesians 5:25-28 MSG

My husband and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage next year.  Because we dated a few years before we married, my husband and I have now been together more years of our lives than we were separate.

Sometimes, that is hard to wrap my mind around.  For half of my life, I did not know my husband, and for the other half of my life, we have been together.

You would think that after all these years, we would have this marriage thing figured out.  However, we are still learning and growing together.  We are still figuring out what it means to live as one because marriage is hard. 

The world tells us that marriage is about romance and "completing one another". The world also makes us believe that marriage will solve our problems and relieve our heartache - we buy into the lie that another person will fill the void that sin has left in our soul.

Unfortunately, the opposite usually happens in marriage.  When you marry, there are now two broken, hurting, and flawed people that are joined together to try to live as one. 

Instead of one person that is trying to sort through what it means to live this life, two lost souls are trying to find their own way to a meaningful life. 

Sometimes, both spouses are not Jesus followers.  Even if both spouses are followers, they may have very different ideas about what it means to really follow Jesus.  We each also have our own dreams. 

Sometimes those dreams align, and sometimes they do not.  There are often times when one spouse must put a dream on hold in order to allow another spouse to grow. 

We also bring our past hurts into our marriage.  We tend to see our spouse through the lens of those painful memories, and we often misinterpret our spouse’s actions.  We waste away our days hoping our spouse will change instead of embracing them for who they are and accepting them where they are. 

Even though Paul was not married, he realized the potential of the marriage bond.  Paul tells us in Ephesians that husbands are to "go all out in your love for your wives," and husbands are to have a "love marked by giving, not getting." 

Paul goes on to say that a husband's love should be such that "everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her." 

Paul also assures husbands that when they love their wives with this giving, abundant love, they are actually doing themselves a favor because a husband and wife are one.

In our marriages, each day is an opportunity to grow closer together in our "oneness."  Each day that I love my husband and put his needs before mine, I die a little to myself and show him a love that is like Christ's love - a love that is about giving, not getting.

Paul uses a beautiful, healthy, sacred marriage as the example of how Christ loves us, his bride.  Christ has designed your life in such a way that everything that Christ does and says to you is meant to bring out the best in you.  Just as in a marriage, there are two that become one. 

I come into my relationship with Christ carrying all of my old wounds, pain, and suffering.  Christ stands before me with open arms, seeking to "go all out" in his love.  Christ loves each of us with a love that is marked by giving.  As I receive Christ's love and healing, I grow toward oneness with Christ.

Jesus, Thank You for loving us with a love that brings out the best in us.  Help us see that You are going all out with Your love.  Open my eyes to see the ways that You have loved us and worked in our life to bring out our best.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2017 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos.  All rights reserved.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Encouragement Café / Two Become One - Encouragement Café - September 6, 2017