“God works in the faithful to restore them to their ‘gospel’ relationship.” Bruce Waltke
Your hopes and dreams for an “ideal marriage” were preceded by the purposes of another. From the beginning of time, God had a purpose for your marriage: to forge a gospel relationship.
“Remember this and stand firm…” God encourages his people, “‘My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isaiah 46:8-10, emphasis mine). As the ESV Study Bible comments, “The only true God will succeed in his glorious purpose for his stubborn people.”
Marriage is the union of two stubborn sinners. Yet God will succeed in his glorious purpose to restore an ideal gospel relationship.
You may think your problems are too high or your rut too deep. But do you really imagine that the Creator and Restorer of marriage throughout all generations is going to throw in the towel when he gets to you? To put it another way: Do you really think you are the exception to the rule of God’s faithful purposes?
In the days ahead we will talk about how to be a gospel wife. But we must start—and return often—to the truth that our work is effective only because He works. Our faith is possible only because He has redeemed us. Our hope is realistic only because He has promised to accomplish His purposes.
God will succeed in His glorious purpose for marriage. In fact, whether we see it or not, whether it feels like it or not, He is succeeding right now.
We have all been praying for the people of Japan as they continue to endure unimaginable suffering following last week’s earthquake and tsunami. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read John Piper’s prayer for mercy for the Japanese people.
This morning, Justin Taylor posted information from artist Makoto Fujimura about a reputable relief organization in Japan and we wanted to pass it on to you:
“CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope) volunteers in Tokyo are mobilizing to provide aid to victims of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck the northeastern coast of Japan on Friday….CRASH Japan, working closely with JEMA (the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Association), has a large network of experienced volunteers who know the culture and language…
According to JEMA President Dale Little, “CRASH is the second-to-none relief network in Japan. No other agency is able to assess the needs on the ground like CRASH, and then take steps toward meeting those needs. The effectiveness of CRASH includes linking closely with local churches in Japan.”
About the disaster, CRASH Japan director Jonathan Wilson made the following statement: ‘Many of us are wondering how we can best respond to the news of the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated Japan. As the television screens pour out images, we pour out our hearts to the Creator to take care of this great nation.’”
You can learn more about CRASH and contribute here.
One year ago we launched The 52home Project, and on Friday, Janelle completed fifty-two weeks of pictures. We hope you’ve enjoyed this year in pictures as much as we have.
Today we’re pleased to announce that Janelle has agreed to sign up for another year. Each weekday she will continue to post a picture of ordinary life, but with a few new twists on the original idea. The mission for 52home remains the same, and is best summed up in our introductory post:
Every weekday for the next 52 weeks, Janelle will post a picture of ordinary life—our ordinary lives—as seen through the lense of her camera.
Ordinary is where we all live most of the time. And yet our mundane, repetitive days are full of enduring work. Homes are being built. Families are being knit together. Little souls are being shaped for eternity.
The tedious is, in fact, momentous—when done for the sake of Christ: “…so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10).
This truth can get lost in piles of laundry and dirty dishes. We need help to see the glory peaking out from behind the ordinary.
Our hope is that you’ll see your own ordinary, yet glorious life in these pictures. That you’ll glimpse the faithfulness of God that undergirds his faithful ones. That you’ll see reflections of the eternal in the everyday.
“So teach us to number our days that we will get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Looking forward to another ordinary, glorious year!
Have a grace-filled weekend! Nicole for the girltalkers
“The story about the gift of the bride (Genesis 2:18-23) represents marriage ideally before the Fall, providing… a type of Christ’s relationship to his church (Eph. 5:22-32). This latter represents their relationship by the metaphor of the gospel. As Christ dies for his church, the husband dies for his wife; as the church obeys her Lord in everything, the wife obeys her husband. After the Fall the man and the woman become divided and struggle in their relationship (Gen. 3:16), but God works in the faithful to restore them to their ‘gospel’ relationship.” (Bruce Waltke, Genesis, pp.104-105, emphasis mine)
The story of marriage in the Bible has a happy ending. We, the faithful, are in the middle of it right now. God, whose ideal for marriage was rejected by sinful human beings, sent His only Son to die for us. He bore our sins, died in our place, absorbed God’s wrath, redeemed our lives, and will one day present us faultless before the throne of grace. And He is at work turning sin-shot marriages into gospel relationships.
He works. He restores. He takes divided, struggling, selfish, proud husbands and wives and patiently forges gospel relationships: for His glory and for our good. No matter our difficulty, we have hope because of what God has done and what he is doing. He is even more committed to an ideal marriage than we are.
He works, but we cooperate. We have a part to play. We must “toil” as Paul says, “struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Col. 1:29). By the grace of God we must strive for a gospel relationship. We must seek to become “gospel wives.”
“Being A Gospel Wife” is our new series here at girltalk. Hope you’ll join us!