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KEY TO A BLESSED MARRIAGE

The key to a experiencing a blessed marriage has a lot to do with a grape and a vine. Relationships can be very complex; however, what makes them thrive can be found in one simple truth.

 

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by Greg Brezina

 

At a recent wedding reception, I complimented the newlyweds on their ceremony and encouraged them to experience a blessed marriage the rest of their lives. Then I quoted a Bible verse to them. Because others were waiting, I didn’t explain the verse. I only thanked them for inviting us.

 

As I walked away, these condemning thoughts entered my mind, “It is a bit simplistic to tell them that the key to experiencing a blessed marriage is found in just one Bible verse. Marriage is a very complex relationship, and you made it sound so simple.”

 

Immediately, the Spirit broke through these thoughts with, “What you shared with the couple was true and simple. Keep sharing the truth, and keep it simple.”

 

The verse that I shared was John 15:5 where Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” In this verse, Jesus shares a physical picture so that our minds can better grasp a spiritual truth. Let’s visualize this picture.

 

First, imagine a massive vine coming out of the ground. Now, see a strong and healthy branch shooting out from the side of that vine. Finally, see a huge cluster of grapes hanging from the branch. Got the picture?

 

Now ask yourself, “What does the branch have to do in order to bear such a large cluster of grapes? How many duties and disciplines does it have to perform? How hard must the branch work?

 

The answers are obvious. The branch doesn’t do anything to bear the fruit. It doesn’t have to work hard, struggle or try harder. Because the branch abides in the vine, the life of the vine naturally flows through the branch and produces a huge cluster of grapes.” Simple, isn’t it?

 

In this verse, abide is a pivotal word. Strong’s concordance defines abide as “to stay, continue, dwell, endure, remain, and stand.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) The Apostle John also defines abide when he writes, “By this we know that we abide in Jesus and He in us, because of the Spirit He has given us.” (I John 4:13)

 

“Because of the Spirit,” Christ abides, stays, or stands in us and we abide, dwell, and endure in Christ. This abiding begins at salvation. When we believe, Jesus chooses to abide in us, (John 15:16) and seals Himself within us by His Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; II Corinthians 1:22) We abide in Him because the Spirit lives in us. However, we experience abiding in Christ when we choose to “walk after the Spirit” (Romans 8:4) or “be led by the Spirit.” (Romans 8:14)

 

Abiding is not trying hard to please God by performing religious duties and disciplines such as praying, reading the Bible, memorizing scripture, attending services, tithing, witnessing or struggling to overcome some sin habit. Zechariah understood this truth when he wrote, “Not by might (one’s activity) nor by power (one’s strength) (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance), but by My Spirit, says the LORD.” (Zechariah 4:6b)

 

A husband and wife will experience abiding in Jesus when they choose to think the Spirit’s thoughts after Him. (Romans 8:6) When they make this choice, they believe. The life of Christ will flow through them. Their behavior will image Christ, (II Corinthians 3:18) and it will be spontaneous, natural, and normal. This is the living water that Jesus refers to when He says, “He who believes in Me ‘…from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’.” (John 7:38)

 

As a couple lets the Spirit flow through them, they will spontaneously produce the Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and control of self (Galatians 5:22-23) in all they do. The husband will naturally choose to serve unconditional love to his wife like Christ serves love to His bride, and the wife will naturally choose to serve unconditional respect to her husband like Christ’s bride serves respect to Him. (Ephesians 5:33)

 

Does this sound too simple? To couples that have been deeply wounded and are hurting, it may feel impossible. To couples that are living in denial, it will seem like word games. But, please take a moment and meditate on the amazing grace of God. Jesus says, “All things are possible to the couple who believes.” (Matthew 9:23) If a Christian couple only knows these truths, but doesn’t believe them, (I John 4:16) they will never experience a blessed marriage.

 

The only other option for a Christian couple is to choose to be deceived by the enemy in their thoughts, (Ephesians 6:12) walk after their flesh (i.e. anger, arguments, confusion, isolation), (Galatians 5:19-21) live in denial (i.e. appear to have a blessed marriage), and grieve the Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) Jesus says these choices amount to NOTHING.

 

Want to experience a blessed marriage every day for the rest of your life? Believe Jesus when He says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)