The story of Easter is so amazing and has wonderful truths for us to live out in our marriages. It is about Jesus dying on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins and resurrecting on the third day in order to bring each of us who believe in Him into new life. New eternal life, but also new life here on earth. Too many marriages don’t live the new life that God wants for their relationship. Here are some lessons from Jesus that will help us receive the gift of new life in our marriages that God wants of us to receive.
Love unconditionally – Jesus modeled unconditional love throughout His life. In fact, He sacrificed all when He died for our sins. The Bible tells us that God is love. Jesus was the personification of God’s love. One of the main messages He taught His disciples,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Paul wrote even more specific instructions about unconditional love in marriage when he wrote to the Ephesians:
“…as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” ~ Ephesians 5:24-25, 33
Forgive your spouse daily – One of the biggest ways we can show unconditional love is through forgiveness. It is important for us to forgive our spouse because forgiveness is foundational to our whole Christian belief system. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for the forgiveness of our sins. God wants us to receive His forgiveness and to forgive as He forgave us. The Greek word for forgive is charizomai, which means “to show grace or grant a pardon.”
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” ~ Colossians 3:13
Operate as a team – Jesus modeled teamwork when he brought together the 12 Apostles. In one of His final prayers before He was to be crucified, Jesus prayed for His Apostles and those to follow:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23
God wants all Christians to be united as one, but there is an even more intimate unification that the Bible talks about that is a gift to those who are married:
“…a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Be intentional about modeling unity and teamwork in your marriage. Talk about how you can operate more as a team.
Pray with and for one another – Jesus modeled praying throughout His life. Sometimes He went off by Himself to pray alone. Other times, He prayed with the disciples, even teaching them how to pray. Using Jesus’ example couples should pray separate and together regularly. Ask your spouse how you can be praying for them. Pray in the good times and the bad. Jesus prayed and thanked God for allowing the miraculous to take place. He also prayed right before He was to be betrayed. He prayed with and for His disciples asking that God would protect them when He was gone, and then He prayed very personally with His Heavenly Father asking for His circumstances to be changed if there was any other way. But He always prayed, that God’s will be done. (To read a beautiful prayer by Jesus, go to the Gospel of John chapter 17).
Trust God can resurrect even a dead marriage – No matter how desperate things may feel at any particular season of your marriage, the same God who resurrected Christ after three days in the grave, has the power to resurrect the love between a husband and wife. Trust God in all your circumstances and hold tight to His promises:
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plansto prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” ~ Jeremiah 29:11