The most beautiful things in the world exhibit unity. How pleasing to the ear are voices and musical instruments blending together in perfect harmony. How pleasing to the eye is a masterful painting weaving colors in balance and striking image with order. And how sweet it is to see a home where husband, wife, and children dwell together in love and peace.
For two Sundays at AGIF we are thinking about the great value of unity in marriage. God’s goal for marriage is oneness. ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is a covenant of companionship in which a husband and wife travel the road of life together, sharing responsibilities and rewards, pleasures and pains, joys and sorrows, hopes, dreams, disappointments, failures and victories.
On life’s journey, how wonderful it is to have a spouse who is your soul-mate, the one person you love to be with, the one person you confide in and tell your innermost thoughts too, knowing that they care and empathize.
Marriage works best where Jesus Christ is known, loved and served and where His desires trump everything else. Marriage works best when a husband sacrificially loves his wife as Jesus loves His people and laid down his life for them. Marriage works best when that loving husband is allowed to lead and the wife respects and follows him just as the church follows and submits to Jesus. This is God’s perfect plan for marriage found in Ephesians 5:22-33 and no other plan devised by man is anywhere close to surpassing it.
But there are many forces at work in our world seeking to destroy unity in marriage. This is especially true for internationals living in Shanghai. Uprooted from established support networks and transplanted in foreign soil; caught up in insanely demanding work schedules; exposed to temptations of the flesh, many marriages are strained and near the breaking point.
This is one reason why you should decide to make Abundant Grace a high priority for you and your spouse. AGIF understands the challenges of life in this big city and seeks to strengthen your faith in God, increase your understanding of God’s will found in the Bible, and get you connected with fellow travelers.
I know the summer break is only a few weeks away but it is never the wrong time to get more serious about advancing your life with God. When we get serious about our relationship with God, greater harmony eventually appears everywhere, including marriage. Please talk to one of the pastors or elders about taking next steps to deepen your life with Jesus Christ.
With love in Jesus,