Friday, 26 November 2021
“But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You.” And all the other disciples said the same” – Matthew 26:35 NIV
At some point in America, the stats revealed that one in two marriages will end in divorce. That means 50% of couples didn’t keep their vows that they’ll stick together in sickness and in health, through better or worse. Clearly, death was not the parting factor. The common reason given for divorce is “irreconcilable differences”. By the grace of God, I’ve sat through a couple of marriage counseling sessions, and through my limited experience, I’ve classified marital couples into three types. Those that love each other (Type A) and are both trying to make it work (my favorite couples) but challenges keep coming up. The second type is those where only one person is trying to salvage the terminal union while the partner wants to call it quits (Type B). The third is the couple who have already decided that they want to split and are just going through the motions of counseling (Type C). Type A (my favorite couples) has a good prognosis and by the grace of God and patience, they will work it out and will one day minister to other Christian couples going through the most (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Type B is very sad because one partner is honoring their vows while their partner has forgotten theirs. The better or worse part of their vows doesn’t mean anything to them, instead of enduring and soldiering on, they are aborting the union and choosing the easy way out. No amount of reasoning or counseling will convince them to stay.
As the Church, the Bible calls us the bride of Christ, this means we are in a union with Christ as His bride. We too have taken vows of remaining faithful in sickness and in health. Like Peter in the above Scripture, we took an oath to stick it out. We have chosen to follow Christ through the storms and tribulations. Have we really? Do we take our vows seriously? Unfortunately, some Christians are in a Type B marriage, they will stand for as long as everything is comfortable and benefitting them. While our partner (Christ) has sacrificed everything for us, they only endure to a certain point. They have not endured to the point of shedding their own blood, yet when persecution strikes they are the first to scatter. Some Christians are in a Type A marriage, though they may be going through extreme challenges and trials, they choose to endure and remain faithful. Their vows were not just punchlines but they meant every word they said. These are the Christians James 1 verse 2 and verse 12 are referring to. They take the storms as a badge of honor because they know when it’s all said and done they will receive their reward at the end (James 1:12). They are the ones that truly and unconditionally love their Husband (Jesus), they remain faithful and their confession never changes (Job type Christians).
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Our Husband has told us that being married to Him attracts trials and persecutions (T&Cs) and that He assured us that we will always come out on top. So why is it that when these things come others abandon their faith while others endure? At the end of the day, we all have to decide what kind of partners we are going to be in this marriage. Are we the partners that honor, respect, understand, and keep their vows? Or are we like the rest of the world that when it gets hot and uncomfortable, they depart and leave their marital home claiming irreconcilable differences? Let us be like those that endure and remain faithful (committed and fruitful) when they are under intense pressure. May He who began a good work in us…
He assured us that we will always come out on top. So why is it that when these things come others abandon their faith while others endure?