Tag Archives: Marriage

“The church shall swim in the ocean of His love” by Jonathan Edwards

“Christ rejoices over His saints as the bridegroom over the bride at all times. But there are some seasons wherein He doth so more especially…

The time wherein this mutual rejoicing of Christ and His saints will be in its perfection, is the time of the saints’ glorification with Christ in heaven.

For that is the proper time of the saints’ entering in with the bridegroom into the marriage (Matt. 25:10). The saint’s conversion is rather like the betrothing of the intended bride to her bridegroom before they come together.

But the time of the saint’s glorification is the time when that shall be fulfilled in Psalm 45:15, ‘With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought; they shall enter into the king’s palace.’

That is the time when those that Christ loved, and gave Himself for, that He might sanctify and cleanse them, as with the washing of water by the word, shall be presented to Him in glory, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.

That is the time wherein the church shall be brought to the full enjoyment of her bridegroom, having all tears wiped away from her eyes. And there shall be no more distance or absence.

She shall then be brought to the entertainments of an eternal wedding feast, and to dwell eternally with her bridegroom; yea to dwell eternally in His embraces.

Then Christ will give her His love, and she shall drink her fill, yea she shall swim in the ocean of His love.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage to Her Sons, and to Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Sermons and Discourses, 1743–1758, Vol. 25, Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach and Harry S. Stout (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 25: 181–182.

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“God is smiling” by Martin Luther

“Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason, takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, ‘Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores, and on top of that care for my wife, provide for her, labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that, do this and do that, endure this and endure that, and whatever else of bitterness and drudgery married life involves? What, should I make such a prisoner of myself? O you poor, wretched fellow, have you taken a wife? Fie, fie upon such wretchedness and bitterness! It is better to remain free and lead a peaceful, carefree life; I will become a priest or a nun and compel my children to do likewise.’

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the Spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.

It says, ‘O God, because I am certain that Thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with Thy perfect pleasure. I confess to Thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving Thy creature and Thy most precious will? O how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in Thy sight.’

Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool—though that father is acting in the spirit just described and in Christian faith—my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all His angels and creatures, is smiling—not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.”

–Martin Luther, “The Estate of Marriage” in Luther’s Works, Vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 45; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 39–40.

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“The Almighty power of our Lord” by J. C. Ryle

“We learn lastly, from these verses, the Almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are told of a miracle which Jesus wrought at the marriage feast, when the wine failed. By a mere act of will He changed water into wine, and so supplied the need of all the guests.

The manner in which the miracle was worked deserves especial notice. We are not told of any outward visible action which preceded or accompanied it. It is not said that He touched the waterpots containing the water that was made wine.

It is not said that He commanded the water to change its qualities, or that He prayed to His Father in Heaven. He simply willed the change, and it took place. We read of no prophet or apostle in the Bible who ever worked a miracle after this fashion. He who could do such a mighty work, in such a manner, was nothing less than very God.

It is a comfortable thought that the same almighty power of will which our Lord here displayed is still exercised on behalf of His believing people. They have no need of His bodily presence to maintain their cause.

They have no reason to be cast down because they cannot see Him with their eyes interceding for them, or touch Him with their hands, that they may cling to Him for safety.

If He ‘wills’ their salvation and the daily supply of all their spiritual need, they are as safe and well provided for as if they saw Him standing by them. Christ’s will is as mighty and effectual as Christ’s deed.

The will of Him who could say to the Father, ‘I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am,’ is a will that has all power in heaven and earth, and must prevail. (John 17:24.)

Happy are those who, like the disciples, believe on Him by whom this miracle was wrought. A greater marriage feast than that of Cana will one day be held, when Christ Himself will be the bridegroom and believers will be the bride.

A greater glory will one day be manifested, when Jesus shall take to Himself His great power and reign. Blessed will they be in that day who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! (Rev. 19:9.)”

–J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on John, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1869/2012), 65-66. Ryle is commenting on John 2:1-11.

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“Marital love in action” by Paul David Tripp

1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.

2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.

10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grand forgiveness when it is requested.

12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.

14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

15. Loving is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.

16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.

17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.

18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.

19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.

20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

22. Love is a daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 191-201.

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“The chief end of creation” by Jonathan Edwards

“The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end: that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse, towards whom He might fully exercise the infinite benevolence of His nature and to whom He might, as it were, open and pour forth all that immense fountain of condescension, love and grace that was in His heart, and that in this way God might be glorified.”

–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.

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“The devil’s great enemy” by Martin Luther

“It is a great and special blessing when people in a marriage endure well. They are the devil’s great enemy.”

–Martin Luther, Off the Record With Martin Luther: An Original Translation of the Table Talks, trans. and ed. Charles Daudert (Kalamazoo, MI: Hansa-Hewlett, 2009), entry no. 1794, p. 43.

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“Uncomfortable grace” by Paul David Tripp

“There are moments in our lives when we are crying out for grace, not recognizing that we are getting it. We are not getting the grace of relief or the grace of release, because that is not the grace that we really need.

No, what we are getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change. With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands so that you will let go of things that have come to rule your heart but will never satisfy you.

With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will find your understanding and rest in His. With the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule.

With the gentleness of a faithful friend He is facing you toward the inadequacies of your own righteousness so that you find your hope in His.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 216.

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