Category Archives: Marriage

“We forget” by Paul David Tripp

“A lifestyle of unforgiveness is rooted in the sin of forgetfulness. We forget that there is not a day in our lives that we do not need to be forgiven. We forget that we will never graduate from our need for grace. We forget that we have been loved with a love we could never earn, achieve, or deserve.

We forget that God never mocks our weakness, never finds joy in throwing our failures in our face, never threatens to turn His back on us, and never makes us buy our way back into His favor. When you remember, when you carry with you a deep appreciation for the grace that you have been given, you’ll have a heart that is ready to forgive.

That doesn’t mean that the process will be comfortable or easy, but it will mean that you can approach your needy spouse remembering that you are just as in need of what you’re about to give to him or her.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 97.

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“This hope is at the cross of Jesus Christ” by Paul David Tripp

“Confession is all about hope. Confession unavoidably leads us to give up hoping in ourselves. It calls us to abandon our trust in our own wisdom, righteousness, and strength. It welcomes us to admit how weak, selfish, needy, fickle, and rebellious we actually are.

It faces us with the reality that we are still people in deep and daily need of rescue. Yes, we have grown, but sin still lives within us, diverting our desires and distorting our actions. So, we lay down the hope that we had in ourselves, and we take up a new, brighter hope.

This hope is at the cross of Jesus Christ. He came to earth and lived the perfect life that we could not live. He became the perfect sacrificial lamb, taking our sins on Himself, satisfying the Father’s wrath and purchasing our forgiveness.

He suffered the rejection of His Father so that we would be accepted. He walked out of His tomb, defeating death and making the hope of eternal life a reality. What does this have to do with marriage? Everything!

When the shadow of the cross hangs over our marriage, we live and relate differently. We are no longer afraid to look at ourselves. We are no longer surprised by our sin. We no longer have to work to present ourselves as righteous. We say good-bye to finger-pointing and self-excusing.

We abandon our record of wrongs. We settle issues quickly. And we do all these things because we know that everything we need to confess has already been forgiven, and what is needed for every new step we will take has already supplied.

We can live in the liberating light of humility and honesty, a needy and tender sinner, no longer defensive and no longer afraid, together growing nearer to one another as we grow to be more like Him. Now, who wouldn’t want a marriage like that?”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 82-83.

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“Jesus took our shame” by Paul David Tripp

“Dealing with our guilt and shame is what the whole Bible is about. It is about redemption, that is, the paying of a debt of guilt and shame that needed to be paid. That payment was made on the cross. Jesus took our shame, hanging in public, numbered with the criminals.

He took our guilt by taking our sin on Himself and paying the price for it– death. He did this even though he had no reason for either shame or guilt, because He was a perfect man. He did not do these things for Himself; every action in the whole process was substitutionary. It was done for us.

Why? So guilt and shame would not hold us; so that in the courage of celebratory faith we would quit hiding, quit excusing, quit blaming, and quit rising to our own defense. So that we could be unafraid of saying, ‘You are right, I was wrong, and I need your forgiveness.’

So that we could say, ‘I know I blew it last night, but I am committed to doing better.’ So that we could say to one another, ‘I need your help. I don’t always see myself accurately. If you see something wrong in me, I welcome you to help me see it as well.’

So that we could look at our marriages and not declare that they are perfect but celebrate the fact that, over the years, we have taken many important steps closer to what God has called us to be and has designed our marriages to become.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 79.

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“He gave Himself for her” by Jonathan Edwards

“For the Creator to make the creature was a great thing. But for Him to become a creature was a greater thing. And He did a much greater thing still to obtain this joy in that for this He laid down His life and suffered even the death of the cross.

For this He poured out His soul unto death, and He that is the Lord of the universe, God over all, blessed for evermore, offered Himself a sacrifice, in both body and soul, in the flames of divine wrath.

Christ obtains His elect spouse by conquest: for she was a captive in the hands of dreadful enemies and her Redeemer came into the world to conquer these enemies and rescue her out of their hands that she might be His bride.

And He came and encountered these enemies in the greatest battle that ever was beheld by men or angels. He fought with principalities and powers. He fought alone with the powers of darkness and all the armies of hell. Yea He conflicted with the infinitely more dreadful wrath of God and overcame in this great battle.

And thus He obtained His spouse. Let us consider at how great a price Christ purchased this spouse: He did not redeem her with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with His own precious blood. Yea He gave Himself for her.

When He offered up Himself to God in those extreme labors and sufferings this was the joy that was set before Him that made him cheerfully to endure the cross and despise the pain and shame.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 187-188.

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“The joyful day is coming” by Jonathan Edwards

“We trust, dear sir, that you will esteem it a most blessed employment to spend your time and skill in adorning Christ’s bride for her marriage with the Lamb, and that it is work that you will do with delight.

And that you will take heed that the ornaments you put upon her are of the right sort, what shall be indeed beautiful and precious in the eyes of the Bridegroom, that she may be all glorious within, and her clothing of wrought gold that on the wedding day she may stand on the King’s right hand in gold of Ophir.

The joyful day is coming when the spouse of Christ shall be led in unto the King with raiment of linen. And angels and faithful ministers will be the servants that shall lead her in.

And you, sir, if you are faithful in the charge that is now to be committed to you, shall be joined with glorious angels in that honorable and joyful service.

But with this difference: that you shall have the higher privilege. Angels and faithful ministers shall be together in bringing in Christ’s bride into His palace and presenting her to Him. But faithful ministers shall have a much higher participation of the joy of that occasion.

They shall have a greater and more immediate participation with the bride in her joy. For they shall not only be ministers to the church as the angels are, but parts of the church, principal members of the bride…

So great, dear sir, is the honor and joy that is set before you, to engage you to faithfulness in your pastoral care of this people; so glorious the prize that Christ has set up to engage you to run the race that is set before you.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 193-194.

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“The church has but one husband” by Jonathan Edwards

“There are many ministers in the church of Christ, and there may be several pastors of one particular church: but the church has but one husband. All others are rejected and despised in comparison of Him.

He is among the sons as the apple tree among the trees of the wood. They all are barren and worthless. He only is the fruitful tree and therefore leaving all others, the church betakes herself to Him alone, and sits under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit is sweet to her taste.

She takes up her full and entire rest in Him, desiring no other. The relation between a minister and people shall be dissolved, and may be dissolved before death: but the union between Christ and His church shall never be dissolved, neither before death, nor by death, but shall endure through all eternity.

‘The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed’ but Christ’s conjugal love and ‘kindness shall not depart’ from His church ‘neither shall the covenant of his peace,’ the marriage covenant, ‘be removed’ (Isaiah 54:10).”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 177-178.

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“Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God gives you Christ as the foundation of your marriage. ‘Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God’ (Romans 15:7). In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “A Wedding Sermon from a Prison Cell,” Letters & Papers From Prison (New York: Touchstone, 1953/1997), 46.

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