Sheldon Clowdus

Disciple . Husband . Father


Finding Life in Your Marriage - Session Three
I will do my best to recreate the third session of our marriage retreat. It will be a little challenging because the extensive notes Brett planned to use for this teaching, he ended up not using. He felt led to go in a different direction so his notes are somewhat sparse. Between his notes and my own, I think I can get down the important aspects of this third session.
The main portion of this session was spent fleshing out the idea Paul puts forth in Ephesians 3:17 of being "rooted and grounded in love". Some translations use the term "established" in place of grounded.
The term grounded (or established) is a horticultural one. When a plant is established, it means it has developed a significant root structure and is able to withstand drought, disease, etc. The plant is able to sustain itself with less care than plants that are not yet established.

Paul says that we are to be established in love. The word translated love here is the Greek word agape. It is a love characterized by choosing to act in the best interest of another with no expectation of a return for yourself. It is a totally selfless love.
Jesus says much the same thing in John 15:9-15. In verse 9 we are commanded to "abide (or remain) in his love". To abide in Christ's love will result in our joy being made full (John 15:11). He then commands us to love one another as He loved us. Christ loved and loves us unconditionally and completely and commands us to love others with the same agape love. Failure to abide in the love of Christ will result in our inability to love others as we are commanded to do (John 15:5).
To sum up the message in these verses: We are to abide in and be grounded and rooted in the agape love of Christ so that we will be able to fulfill His command to love one another. In obeying this command, Christ promised that our joy will be made complete.

So what does this mean for our marriages from a practical standpoint?

We must choose where to abide.
We must choose where to look for life.

We can either choose to have Christ as the source of our life and our love or we can choose to attempt to find those things in worldly offerings. If we attempt to meet our spiritual needs for life and love in worldly things, the only thing we will find is death. The path that Jesus described (abide - obey - love - joy) is impossible to follow when He is not our source. We must choose Christ as our only source.
How do we do that?
We choose to love Christ with an agape love. We must surrender everything we are and all we have to Him. Then He will pour Himself into us and we will become reflections of His glory capable of loving others as He has loved us.

There is no other way to love your mate the way Christ has commanded outside of complete and total surrender to Him. He must be our everything, the place where all our life and love originates.

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband, and a father. I teach 5th grade in my hometown of Rome, Georgia.


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