Daily Devo - A Gospel Marriage - Day 4

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Day 4 – Clarifying What is Gospel Marriage vs. Good Works Marriage


This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:32-33


The Apostle Paul compares the marriage relationship to the relationship Christ has with the church. The marriage is designed to mysteriously reflect the Gospel, the good news of Jesus. I’ve defined a gospel marriage as a relationship in which both spouses commit to give unconditional love and respect. Gospel marriages are those where both parties see their relationship as covenant. It’s a relationship where both spouses put in 100%, not 50% Many spouses may say, “What if the spouse doesn’t appreciate the work I’ve put into the marriage?” Or “What if I do all this and he/she doesn’t reciprocate?” In the worst-case scenario, you’ve treated someone really well, and you’ve taken the higher road by doing what’s right, and ultimately, you’ve obeyed the Lord.


What can you do to share and show gospel love this week? Don’t wait for them to do something for you. Just be the person God has called you to be. Give the unconditional love or respect your spouse needs.


On the flip side, there is the Good Works marriage. This marriage offers love and respect only if the spouse earns it. Therefore, love and respect are conditional. This is not at all how God treats us. He loves us while we are still yet sinners (Romans 5:8). He doesn’t make us earn his love. This is why the gospel of Jesus is so different. We don’t have to earn God’s love; it’s given to us because God is gracious. Our salvation is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). It’s not by works. It’s a gracious gift that won’t be taken back and returned to someone else.


Gospel marriages are like God’s gospel. It’s good news! Good works marriages are in for bad news. Marriage becomes a contractual agreement. “I do my part; you do your part. If you don’t, I am out.” It’s a 50:50 deal. Love and respect are earned. Usually what happens in these situations is that one of the spouses is hurt and frustrated and failing to give love or respect due to feeling unloved and disrespected, so the crazy cycle continues and the conflicts never end. There is a relational gridlock.  In order to make the most of their marriage, a gospel marriage must commit to give unconditional love and respect. 

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