Weekend Devotion — God of Peace
Contentment

Marriage Monday - Happiness or Holiness

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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By majority vote, our topic this Monday will be, "Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness?”

This is not a trick question. It’s an opportunity to share your wisdom, Scriptural knowledge, experience, quotes, or other insights you might have.—e-Mom @ Chrysalis.

When I read the topic for this month, the first thing I thought was, this is a trick question.

I began to think about the subject and was drawn to the word “happiness.” I can’t help thinking about how women enter marriage. The wedding day is the culmination of months of effort focused mainly on the bride. Her knight in shinning armor arrives at the church to whisk her away and they live happily ever after.

However, as Florence Littauer says, “After Every Wedding Comes a Marriage.”

Okay, I was one of those brides and today, after 16 years of marriage, is a great day to ask, Marriage: For Happiness? For Holiness?

My answer: A resounding, YES!

I am blown away by the brilliance of our God. His purposes are served in every holy way through the intimate relationship of marriage.

Genesis 2:20b-24 But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

In God’s wisdom he places together two people to travel life together. In God’s hilarity he places together two people who are created vastly different, knowing it will take a lifetime to understand each other and to fully reach our individual potential and our potential as a couple.

It is in the journey where God crafts our spirit. God works through our spouse to grind away the edges of harshness and selfishness in our character. It is the years of living together where our Lord cuts away our shallow beliefs and pettiness. It is only through the commitment of marriage would we allow ourselves to be smelted into fine silver.

I believe in marriage. It is a sacred and blessed union designed by God, to serve His purposes. God designed marriage as the vessel to build up holy and happy people who love Him and each other.

I believe my marriage to a nonbeliever is serving God’s purposes. I have shared in the past that my relationship with Jesus is strong and vibrant today because my unbelieving spouse asked me the hard questions about God. Compelled to answer these tough questions, I searched the scriptures and fell in love with Jesus over and again. My faith deepened and my prayer life became powerful.

Next to Jesus, my marriage is the most important relationship I will experience on this earth.

So the answer to the question, “Marriage for: Happiness” is yes and so much more. I am blessed with a remarkable relationship where I share intimacy, trust, humor, friendship, failure, hurts, weakness, strengths, and a love I didn’t know I could feel. I look ahead to the years of growing old together. I smile because I know happiness and contentment will be our companions.

I see my marriage as a tool of the Silversmith.

Refining Silver

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver".
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The silversmith answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed!

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

O Lord, see your reflection in our marriages!

Be Blessed, Lynn

For more Marriage Monday, visit Chrysalis.

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Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping takes place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!

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