Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
It’s found in Galatians 4:1-5 where we see that God treats unbelievers not as outsiders or as wolves to be shot down, but as wandering sons or lost sheep that haven’t yet found their way home.
The illustration is that of a child of the wealthy estate owner who runs about barefoot, bossed by slaves; but when he comes of age, he becomes lord of the estate. “Even so we ... were children ... in bondage. ... But when the fullness of the time had come, ... we ... receive[d] the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:3-5).
Happy is the spouse who believes enough Good News to include the unbelieving one, assuming that he or she is a child of God, on the way to realizing and confessing that sonship or daughtership in God’s good time. That’s cooperating with God in working miracles!
No one can forgive an erring spouse unless he has first experienced Christ’s forgiving grace toward himself. If God invented marriage, He also invented the redemption that centers in the cross. Miracles don’t happen unless there is a sense of the tremendous “giving for” that was involved in God’s forgiveness, an appreciation of the cost expended at Calvary:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love [agape], just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 4:32; 5:1, NIV).
In olden times, marriages were happy if the two parties believed that God had brought them together, rather than their own mutual chemical or social attractions for each other. Their love for each other was rooted in their primary faith in God’s leading. Their faith in each other grew into happy, permanent love.
Isaac, for example, had never seen Rebekah until his father’s servant brought her to him from Mesopotamia and was told how she was God’s choice for him. His faith concurred with God’s leading, and we read that “he loved her.” In fact, Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage is one of the happiest recorded in the Bible (see Gen. 24:66, 67). As an old saying goes, "The grass on the other side of the fence may not be as green as it is on your side already."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 5, 2007.
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