Available in the Attic Library
Steve & Annie Chapman
Call No. 249.2
Barcode No. 504335
Reviewed by: John Woon, Family Connect 1 Small Group
Most of the Christian marriage formulas boil down to one easy transaction: man in charge + woman who submits = uninterrupted bliss. Unfortunately, this mindless submission often leads to confrontation.
In the book ‘Married Lovers, Married Friends’, Steve and Annie Chapman describe the New Testament marriage formula as partnership, where each partner seeks to submit to each other out of reverence of Christ. Eph 5:21 motivates us to want to work as a team for His glory.
Real submission has to start with submission to Christ. Marital decisions aren’t a see-saw, with husband at one end and wife at the other. There is always a third, an over-riding will to consider — what does the Lord want done here? We have to first submit to Him, and then listen. Then there will be no struggle left, except to find what He wants.
The question of who will be the boss of our marriage partnership can turn every minor marital decision into a major struggle for control. But Christ intended He be the boss of our lives together when we serve Him, by serving and giving to our mate. He’ll improve the state of our union as we walk together in Him.
Scripture portrays marriage as two people coming together spiritually, emotionally, and physically in one love and one purpose. But it’s not hard to see how much more difficult this unity becomes when one or both partners still writhe in pain from wounds in the past. These wounds keep a couple from settling into the oneness God wants for them.
But it is possible to find healing from these wounds and it comes by forgiving the one who has wounded you. But there’s no other way to healing, except by the surgical removal of bitterness with the knife of forgiveness. Jesus insisted on it. He told His disciples to pray, ‘Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.’ (Matthew 6:12) and here’s the good news. When we choose to forgive, we’re writing our ticket to freedom.
One thing we must make clear. We don’t forgive those who’ve hurt us because they deserve it. We forgive only because Christ has forgiven us. We’ve no choice but to pass on the same grace to those who have wronged us. That’s why Paul tells us, ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger…forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 6:31-32).
Sometimes we cannot forgive others because of the historical baggage we carry with us. Are you struggling under the load of excess baggage? Let Christ set you free from bondage to the wounds of the past. He wants you to know a satisfying today, and an even brighter tomorrow. He came to set captives free. Allow Him to liberate you so you can be free to love.
Two children a brother and a sister
Born to a father who was a slave to wine
They do remember their younger years of sorrow
How their daddy used to hurt them time after time
But somehow, they grew to be so different
Their lives turned out to be like day and night
One lives in peace up in Ohio
One was full of hate until she died
I wondered what could make the difference in the two of them
Both had reasons to be bitter, but one was so sweet
How could one live in peace and not the other?
Not long ago the answer came clear to me
I saw the brother at his daddy’s grave
Placing flowers there his eyes were filled with tears
He said, “Daddy, once again I do forgive you.”
For the way you made us suffer through the years
Now I can see how the two could be so different
How their hearts turned out to be like day and night
He lives in peace up in Ohio
She was bitter till the day she died
A bitter heart was the reason that she died
For more insights on how to strengthen your marriage, read this book.