amen… hallelujah

My husband and I are getting ready to start a small group for young married/engaged couples in our home. Our desire is to dig deep into the full…unedited version…of what a biblical marriage was designed to be. (I’ll share more about it a little later on) While praying and preparing for what we would share I stumbled upon this incredible message. I was left without words and really have nothing more to add except…amen and hallelujah!!

(To listen to the message by John Piper along with Paul Washer and Voddie Baucham…Just click here) 

“…God will bring you into a relationship with someone…most of the time…who is not only not compatible with you…but is weak…tremendously weak in the very areas where you would most want them to be strong. Now why does he do that? I’ll tell you why…Remember our text Romans 8:28 and 29. What is the goal of everything that God does in his providence for his children? To conform them to the image of Christ. Now when you think of the image of Christ…what are some characteristics that just automatically spring to the forefront? Well for me, three…Unconditional love, mercy and grace. If I could pick out three things in which they told me you could imitate Christ in these…That’s what I think about…Unconditional love, mercy and grace. Now I have some things here I want to just go ahead and read that I have written out, so I can get them out, so I can get them right.  Let me ask you a few questions…How would you ever learn unconditional love if you were married to someone that met all the conditions? Question? How would you ever learn mercy, patience, long suffering, heart felt compassion…if you were married to someone who never failed you? Who is never difficult with you? Who never sinned against you? Who is never slow to acknowledge their sin or ask for forgiveness? How would you ever learn grace to pour out your favor on someone who did not deserve it, if you were married to someone who was always deserving of all good things? Do you see that? Listen to me, the main purpose of marriage…is that through your marriage you become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Marriage I believe is the greatest instrument of sanctification. You are married to a person who does not meet all the conditions so that you might learn unconditional love. You are married to a person who needs mercy so that you learn to give it. You are married to a person that does not deserve so that you learn to pour lavishly yourself out on a person who does not respond appropriately and thus you become like the God you worship! You see you worship God for these things but you don’t want to give them to others. You worship God for grace…but you demand that your wife live in such a way that she not be in need of it. You worship God for unconditional love but you get mad at your own wife when she doesn’t meet the conditions. Do you see?…”

-John Piper

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