Somehow, I now grasp why C.S. Lewis is known as one of the finest Christian thinkers in his time. He was a bachelor yet his thoughts on love, ‘being in love’, and marriage are profound. I really want to share the whole chapter on Christian marriage but it’s really long. (Hehe ) So, I decided to just post what struck me the most. Kindly see excerpt below:
“Ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in the second sense – love as distinct from ‘being in love’ – is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.” (Mere Christianity)
Why is two better than one?
We’re all blind of our own fallacies.
That is, we all have our own blind spots – that which we may not be aware of but other people may be aware of. It could be quirks but it could be worse – subtle sins. I think the main reason why such is the case is that normalcy breeds obscurity. We are less aware of things that are normal to us.
I love what Paul Tripp said about fellowship, “The Hebrews passage [Heb. 3:13] clearly teaches that personal insight is the product of community. I need you in order to really see and know myself. Otherwise, I will listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies, and buy into my own delusions. My self-perception is as accurate as a carnival mirror. If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God’s Word in front of me.”
Ergo, we need somebody who could lovingly, gently, and truthfully point out those subtleties that creep into our lives for the mortification of such. The goal of which is for us to be conformed to the likeness of the God of the glorious gospel that we worship.
Without gospel friends who’d choose to confront you rather than backbite or gossip about you, our maturity is hampered and the gospel is tarnished.
We all need that person who’d speak the truth to us in love. We all need that person who’d be willing to sacrifice the relationship that he or she has with us just to tell us that we’re not on the right track.
We all need gospel friends.
As Albert Mohler said, they hold us close as Christ holds us fast.
I’m sick and tired of myself because I’m self-centered, self-seeking, and self-exalting. Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Praise be to God that Jesus stood condemned in my place. Praise be to God that Christ bore my sins – past, present, and future – because He was pleased to choose me as one of His people. This choice is not owing to anything in me because there’s nothing good in me but it’s all owing to His sovereign grace alone. Grace means unmerited favor – God did something that I could never ever deserve.
God poured out the full extent of His wrath on Christ as He bore my sins in His body at the cross of Calvary. I’m an ill-deserving and hell-bound sinner yet He became curse for me and experienced hell for me. He died and lived at my stead. Through faith alone, I’m clothed with the robe of perfect righteousness that He earned through His perfect obedience of the law. I’m declared righteous before God through the righteousness of Christ – and nothing could ever change that super awesome fact. He resurrected on the third day and proved that He is indeed the Son of God – that He could mightily save those who would turn away from their sins and put their trust in Him.
This super awesome gift of eternal life is offered to everyone who’d turn away from their sins and run to the loving embrace of Jesus and surrender their lives under His rule.
Because of that, the followers of the King of kings and Lord of lords should be “content to be abased and obscure provided Christ is honored and exalted.”
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom. 11:36)
“Over many years, I learned that God does not guarantee temporary joys for his children like physical health, marriage, success at work, or children. And that’s because he is utterly, relentlessly committed to giving his precious sons and daughters what’s best for us, when it’s best for us, and only if it’s best for us.” (Marshall Segal)
The struggle of not having what we want to have when we want it reverberates in the depths of our hearts yet God wants us to cling to His promises that He uses all things for our eternal good – conformity to Jesus and He makes everything beautiful in His appointed time.
He said in Isa. 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
If we could just see things from the vantage point of God then we’d take comfort that He surely knows what He’s doing even though it doesn’t make perfect sense in our perspective.
Trust Him, Justin. Trust Him.
“Heavenly Father, help me trust in You that you withhold things that would destroy me and give me things that would edify me. These things you do to bring me closer to glory. Lead me not into temptation but enable me to find rest in You. For Christ’s sake. Amen”