Understanding our spouse is the link that provides for the growth of relationship and the oneness. The value and worth of a man or a woman is based on their function and role as God has created them. A great prayer for our marriages is by Francis of Assisi: Lord make me an instrument of your peace grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love
We must understand the uniqueness of our spouse to be able to communicate at a deeper level. There are eight Biblical questions we should ask: Where are you?, Who told you?, Have you eaten from the forbidden tree?, What have you done? Where have you come from? and Where are you going?, Who are you? and What is it you really want? In other words, Do you want to be who, where and what God planned for you to be?
The Bible provides answers to help us in understanding our God-given role, but the labor of division in a Christian home should be based on our natural gifts, talents, and our spiritual gifts. If our lives and homes are built on Jesus, and we understand our spouses, it will keep crises from destroying our marriage. God created sex for procreation. God also intended for intimacy to be an expression of love and the joyful expression of oneness.
God intended sex for many purposes. One of the first purposes is procreation, but it is also meant to be a vehicle of expression for married couples. Unfortunately, what God designed for a joyful expression of oneness often becomes one of the greatest obstacles to our oneness. Gods Word shows us what our attitudes and expectations about sex should be in the context of the God-ordained institutions of marriage and family; to bring fulfillment and pleasure to both husband and wife.
In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul discusses how in the intimacies of marriage, husbands and wives can satisfy each other and how mutual agreement is a very important principle for a fulfilling physical relationship. As the Golden Rule says, In everything, do unto others as you would have them do to you. The biblical model for marriage is Christ and the Church. We can only have that kind of love by having a vital relationship with Jesus and allowing His Spirit love through us.
The first four books of the New Testament are called gospels, which means good news. They are central to revealing Gods eternal plan: to redeem and save lost mankind. They are often referred to as biographies: Through them we gain a comprehensive insight into the life of a Man who only lived for 33 years, but who impacted the history of our world more than anyone who ever lived. The gospels declare Jesus the Christ, Gods greatest revelation of truth.
We live in a competitive world. Sometimes our relationship with competitors, or adversaries, becomes hostile, and they are determined to sue us or even put us in prison. Disciples who are peacemakers do not get angry or try to get even with their enemies. Instead, they determine never to be the source of conflict with adversarial people. Jesus also taught us how to relate to the opposite sex. As with other sins, Jesus goes to the source: our hearts. If we really want to be part of the solution as salt and light, we must learn how to control our sexual desires.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the key teachings of the Bible. Jesus preached this sermon on a mountaintop in Galilee when He challenged people who professed to be His disciples to be strategically placed between the love of God and the pain of the hurting people in the world. He challenged His disciples to partner with Him and be conduits of His love. He concluded His sermon with a call to commitment. It changed the lives of many who heard it.
The word mercy means unconditional love. When David writes in Psalm 23:6 that mercy will follow him all the days of his life, the word he uses for follow actually means pursue. Gods unconditional love will pursue David all of his life. This is the kind of love for others that we must have too, if we are to be like God.
Salt is a preservative that keeps meat from spoiling, and Christians with the attitudes of Jesus are like salt to the world. When disciples with Christ-like attitudes are rubbed into the people of the world as salt is rubbed into meat, their influence will keep the world from total corruption. They become a valuable commodity Jesus uses to revolutionize the culture. The second metaphor indicates that Christians are the only source of light for multitudes living in darkness. As with the first metaphor, Jesus words literally mean that you and you alone are salt and light. If His disciples do not fulfill their role as salt and light, no one else is left to fulfill it. The people who have Jesus attitudes are sent into the world as Gods solution in order to shine for all to see.