Christina and I have tried to build our marriage upon God and his word. We have appreciated all the passages in the Bible which speak directly to the married life.
But we have also loved many other Scriptures which have helped our marriage. In this short four-part series, I will write about four of those Scriptures. In each, I will elaborate on the principle found there, along with how it has applied to our marriage. Our prayer is that every believing marriage would find grace and strength in the word of Christ.
Read the entire series here.
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3–4).
Christina has not completed Nate, and Nate has not completed Christina. Yes, when we married, the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8). But it is Christ who completes us. Our lives, as the passage reads, are “hidden with Christ in God.”
Consider the phrase: “Christ who is your life.” Christina and I have found that we cannot be one another’s life. Her life is not hidden in mine; nor is mine hidden in hers. We are close, intimate, and one, but as believers, we discover our lives in Jesus Christ. This plays out in our marriage in simple ways. Here are five of them:
1. We pursue our relationship with Jesus.
Our connection to God is of greatest importance. We have both prioritized our relationships with God in Christ. Christina needs me to spend time with Christ, and I need the same from her. As a couple, we encourage and commit to a daily time of Bible reading and prayer. As individuals, we read the Word and petition God. If I ceased to start my day with Bible reading and prayer, Christina would wonder what was wrong.
2. We recognize our satisfaction comes from Jesus.
He is the only one who can satisfy our souls (Psalm 107:9). He alone is the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). He is the bread of life we need to consume (John 6:35). Without the pressure to complete the other, we can enjoy one another. When our identity is fixed in Christ, we are free to appreciate and drink in the love of the other.
3. We prioritize learning and growing in Jesus.
If our life is hidden with him, if he is our life, we conclude it is important to continue to grow in him (2 Peter 3:18). This takes the form of reading books and listening to teaching about the Christian faith. We read books on marriage, parenting, finances, and soul-care. We listen to podcasts which teach us about the Lord. Though we sometimes consume the same material, we are two different people, so our norm is to take in different content at different times. We also try to take time to relax and talk about what we are learning.
4. We believe our lives should honor Christ.
If he is our life, then we feel each decision and priority should be weighed in light of who we are in him. We want our financial practices to reflect who we are in him, so we shoot for generosity, contentment, and saving. We want our calendar commitments to reflect who we are in him, so we emphasize ministry and church life, but also balance, rest, and friendship with others. We want our speech to reflect who we are in him, so we repent and confess when we’ve allowed ourselves to say things unbecoming of Christ.
5. We recognize the struggle to see our lives as hidden with Christ in God.
The passage says, “For you have died.” We died with Jesus on his cross, were buried with him, and now live to experience his newness of life (Romans 6:1–4). But we are still on this planet—in bodies made for the earth while Christ is in heaven! Because of this, it is challenging to remember where our truest life is found. It is easy to get caught up in the here and now. Knowing this, Christina and I drink up the grace of God when we see a failure. We recalibrate and confess our sin to the Lord. He helps us recenter ourselves upon him.
When I look at Christina, I see the woman of my dreams. But I know she cannot handle the crushing weight of my worship. My identity cannot be found in her, for it is found in Christ. By looking to Jesus for my salvation, satisfaction, and joy, I can experience grace, laughter, fun, and happiness with the wife of my youth! (Proverbs 5:18) Let us ask God to help us keep our eyes upon Jesus while in the marriages he has given us to enjoy.