The Word on the Week

Marriage Joy

Marriage Joy                    Word on the Week                     18th May 2024.

There is nothing like a family wedding to release an outpouring of wedding joy! The clans are gathering, crossing the ocean, flying in at various times all to be there for the Big Day.   Those on this side of the Atlantic feel they are in Philadelphia as a result of the stream of pre wedding photographs arriving in our smartphones!   The joy is infectious! 

Marriage is the vehicle God has provided to convert this wedding joy into a lifelong love relationship (Genesis 2 verse 24).   A new level of bonding takes place, initially to counteract loneliness (verse 18) then flowing out into a lifelong covenant of companionship.

This realisation came to me rather late.   Believe it or not it was when I was kneeling with Betty at my side in the front of the church that the momentous nature of the covenant struck home!   This was no contract dependent on the feelings of those involved as to whether it lasts or lapses.  

This was vows taken before God and in the presence of his people to love and serve one another as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her.  These vows have a permanent ring to them embodied in the phrase “till God do us part”.   This happened, by God’s grace, and Betty’s patience, 63 years ago!

The joy of the marriage day needs to be captured for the long haul!   It cannot be bottled for the future but it can be new every day for the believer (Lamentations 3 verses 21/3).   Where Christ is in the heart the troubles of this life can be conquered at the cross where forgiveness is to be found and mutual love nourished (2 Corinthians 5 verses 17/8).

Children are gifts from God and bring their own Joy with them (Psalm 127 verses 3/5).   They make a couple into a family and are the bedrock of society.   Today the culture tends to oppose Marriage.   It promotes a promiscuous lifestyle with children being looked after by the State.  

The Church is God’s remedy to this where it proclaims Christ, his earthly life, death for repentant sinners and resurrection to eternal life.    Faith in His work changes people from being self-centred to Christ-centered maintaining the love and joy of Jesus in our culture today.

May the Joy of Jesus enter every Christian Marriage and remain there.  Put the old acrostic into effect: – J=Jesus, O=Others, Y=Yourself.   The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8 verse 10).