Monthly Archives: February 2011

Because of the gospel…

How the Gospel Transforms a Marriage

Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore in our marriage, our past does not define us, confine us, or determine our future.

Because of the gospel, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Therefore we can live free of all guilt and condemnation for every sin, and we can trust that God, in his mercy, will be gracious to us.

Because of the gospel, we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore all offenses, hostility, and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed.

Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God (Romans 15:7). Therefore we are not dependent on a spouse for who we are or what we need.

Because of the gospel, sin’s ruling power over us is broken (Romans 6:6, 14). Therefore we can truly obey all that God calls us to do in our marriage, regardless of any circumstance or situation.

Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). Therefore we can at any time take any need in our marriage to the One who can do all things.

Because of the gospel, we have hope (Romans 5:1-4). Therefore we can endure any marital difficulty, hardship, or suffering, with the assurance that God is working all to our greatest good (Romans 8:28).

Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by his Holy Spirit (Galations 3:13-14). Therefore we are confident that God is always with us and is always at work in our marriage, even when progress is imperceptible (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin, which continues to dwell and war within us (Romans 7:19-21, 24-25; Galations 5:16-17). This indwelling enemy represents the essence of what is called the doctrine of sin.

From Gary and Betsy Ricucci, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace (Crossway, 2006), pp. 22-23


Marriage Retreat

This past weekend, my husband and I had the privilege to attend the annual (though our first time) marriage retreat through Bethlehem Baptist Church…

Can I just say WOW! God blessed this retreat! It was amazingly full of truth, grace, wisdom, and conviction.

The speakers this year were Gary and Betsy Ricucci, authors of the book Love That Lasts. We had read this book almost four years ago now when we were engaged as part of our pre-marital class through BBC. Hearing them in person was such a rich experience! The Ricucci’s were simply amazing at pointing us to the cross and keeping us focused on the LORD always, even amidst the many topics and issues surrounding marriage, like communication, conflict resolution, and romance.

Though I am still slightly overwhelmed with all the great nuggets of wisdom I heard, we were encouraged again and again to remember that even taking away ONE thing from this retreat is enough and will be helpful to our marriage. We don’t swallow an entire meal at once, we have to take it a bite at a time and really chew on it.

The one big takeaway for me, which seemed to encompass every topic discussed this weekend, comes from James 4:6, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” This simple yet profound truth alone is not really new to me, but God really seemed to be hammering this into my heart and mind. John and I both really have sensed God convicting us about the root of SO many of our issues is our pride…. but praise God that when we humble ourselves, he gives us GRACE! That is all we need, and we really do need his grace to conquer anything and everything in our relationships and in this life.

Well, I could go on and on, but really any of you who are reading this who are married, you must read their book. We have an extra copy if you ever want to borrow it! :)

Eventually I do want to type up this amazing list they provided for us of promises that we can believe and cling to that all start with “Because of the gospel…” It’s just amazing truth that really pierces your heart, and I hope to share that with you sometime tomorrow.

And… I plan to get back at blogging about my Bible reading in Exodus soon, too! It’s been a busy and full weekend and I also wound up getting a nasty cold last week. Now I can get back at it! :)