Ephesians 5:31-32 Marriage is an example of how the church is to function.
A paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory declaration but is in fact true.
- 1. STRENGTH THROUGH WEAKNESS: 2 Cor. 12:10; Ephesians 2:1-3
Most of us come into a marriage relationship knowing only what we do not want it to be rather than having a clear biblical picture of how it should be. We need God‘s help every day of our lives. How can I possibility live with someone who is so different than I am? God help!
- FREEDOM THROUGH SERVITUDE: John 13:13-17, 34 When your attention is on serving, you are in a much better place than when focusing on how others serve you. Dissatisfaction, hurt feelings, anger, judgmental-ism, harshness… are the feelings of one who reverses this paradox.
- EXALTATION THROUGH HUMILITY: (Jas. 4:10; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 2:1-8) Marriage and the church are interdependent relationships. They have great diversity yet total unity.
- RECEIVING THROUGH GIVING: Acts 20:35; Matthew 5:43-48
Tithes and offerings make little sense to the carnal minded, but to the believer, they provide absolute assurance that he or she will be provided for by God. The ultimate test of love for God and man is in giving something that we hold so dear.
The common way that people connect with others is mutually reciprocal – that is, I deal with you the way that you deal with me. “I scratch your back, and you scratch my back.” Jesus completely switched these dynamics. He taught: “…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
We do not love to be loved. We love because we are loved by God
- GAINING THROUGH LOSING/LAST WILL BE FIRST: Phil. 3:7-8; Mark 8:34-37; 10:29-31 After receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, we need to accept the fact that we are to live a life of service and sacrifice for him. Only then can we be truly satisfied.
- LIVING THROUGH DYING: John 12:24; Romans 8:13
Death to the sinful nature means to be willfully against the works of the flesh, the mentality, philosophies, and superstitions of the world. God says that the flesh must be crucified with its sinful lusts (Gal. 5:24). The more you die to SELF, the more CHRIST is seen in you!
- FINDING THROUGH LOSING: Matthew 10:39; Luke 14:25-33
Many enter into the marriage relationship or into parenting thinking they will find the evasive fulfillment of life. Many join churches looking for the same; however, peace, love, joy, purpose, and fulfillment are found only in our God.