Grace x2 Marriage Conference [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — July 20, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
The same grace that accepted you through Christ is at work in you to accept yourself and others!
Today’s Text: Genesis 2:25 (ESV) — 25 “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
The only thing we know about a marriage in paradise is that they had no shame. Neither husband nor wife was worried about being rejected or condemned. There was no shame. But, as soon as sin entered the world, shame entered. Shame is the gnawing angst that accompanies a deep lie: you don’t measure up and, until you do, you can’t be accepted. It’s a lie because everything that makes the Good News good hangs on this: you can’t make yourself acceptable, but Jesus has! Any belief system based on something other than the full, finished work of Jesus is law-based. There’s no way to be acceptable to God but through Christ – that’s the message of grace. Everything else is law.
The law isn’t bad; it’s just isn’t transformational. The law tells you what you ought to do, but offers you no power to do it. Yet, most teaching I hear for marriages comes across as law. It’s not bad. It may be very good advice, but it isn’t transformational.
For example, if I say, “Husbands, you need to be more considerate of your wives,” every man (and definitely every woman) would agree. I might go further in my instruction by saying, “Here’s what it means to be considerate. Think about her needs and desires. Take time to listen. Be willing to put her needs first….”
We all might agree that the above stated advice is good, but so what? We all already know that husbands should be considerate of their wives. But knowing what we should do doesn’t make us able to do it!
If you want an abundant marriage, you don’t need more law! You need more than good advice; you need more good news. When you fix your heart upon what you “ought” to be doing, the attention is upon your own strength. But when you fix your heart upon what Christ has done for you, you draw upon God’s strength. Think much of God’s grace and you’ll have much more grace to give. And that’s the gospel!