Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church

The Marriage Journey

Wayne Jacobsen and his wife Sara recently shared on his podcast The God Journey their journey together in their 30 year marriage. The dialogue is worth listening to. They called the podcast, “Unequally Yoked,” a biblical term that specifically means an unbeliever with a believer, but they loosely use it as an expression of spouses at different places in their journey in Christ.

The talk was very encouraging. They basically believe that we are called to love one another as companions on our journey together, but understand that we all have individual journeys with Christ, too. Consequently, spouses can be in different places individually, but journeying together as a couple. That means we trust in Jesus to disciple His son or daughter. We are not the trainers of our spouses. They did not refer to any scriptures in their talk that I remember, but Peter’s admonition to women applies equally to men:

1 Pet 3:1-2
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (KJV)

The journey of a godly marriage is completely rooted in individual discipleship. Peter understood this because Jesus said to him regarding what will happen to John:

John 21:22
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (NIV)

If you are bearing your cross, denying self, and loving others as Christ loved the church, then the Holy Spirit can work in your life and the life of your spouse. If your spouse is doing the same, then the Lord can do the good work of shaping the new creation called the married couple and family.

We are on a journey together, and as companions of the Way, we are not to change our partners, but to love them and encourage them. It is richly exciting discovering what Christ as wrought in one’s spouse, both as the individual treasure that your spouse is that God has created, and as the complement of your own life that makes up the person called the marriage and family.

It is a reasonable benchmark to see that a marriage that is not growing in grace, has partners who are not truly following Christ. It is very easy to be religious and go to church, participating in many church activities without maturing in Christ. Religion for many is a substitute for relationship. If you have a real relationship with Jesus, then you will end up with real relationships with your spouse and other believers. And the more your relationship with Jesus and your spouse grows, the more you will see religion is not the same as relationship.

So be encouraged to love your spouse without trying to change him or her. Enjoy the journey together and let each person be free in Christ to be who Christ wants them to be.

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