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Monday, June 10, 2013
Redemption, when rooted in love, brings about deep intimacy.
I’m picking up again on my “True Love” series, looking at some of the many marvelous ways Jesus displays love to us and seeing what we can learn for our marriages by His example.
If you are a Christ-follower reading this, then you have experienced Jesus' redemption for yourself:
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death…and
Hosea 13:14 (NKJV)
[Jesus] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people...What was the reason for God to send Jesus to redeem us? Love. He did it for love. He did it so He could have intimacy with us forever. Yes, Jesus died to take care of our sin and shame once and for all, but His goal was intimacy.
Titus 2:14 (NKJV)
Redemption born of love brings intimacy.
Beyond Christian circles the concept of redemption doesn't get much play in our society. So let me bring in a few choice selections from dictionary.com:
- to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction: to redeem a pawned watch.
- to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault, shortcoming, etc.): His bravery redeemed his youthful idleness.
- to obtain the release or restoration of , as from captivity, by paying a ransom.
Redemption in Your Marriage
Where do you need a little redemption in your marriage?
- Have you lost something that you need to recover: your sex life, trust, faith, emotional closeness?
- What circumstances do you need turned around: financial hardship, wayward child, infidelity, in-laws?
- Where do you need a divine exchange: healing for pain, prosperity for poverty, wholeness for brokenness?
- What bondage are you in that you need freedom from: food addictions? alcohol? porn? spending?
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Not some things. Not most things. All things. This is not just a trite saying. It is powerful truth. Believe it, and look to God in faith for the redemption he promises - for the redemption that was accomplish already for us by Jesus.
Your Love Can Redeem Too
Yes, God is a redeemer, and I love that about Him. But guess what! You can also be a redeemer in your marriage. You too have the power to make something good from something not so good.
How might you redeem things in your marriage?
- Ever hear of make-up sex? That's redemptive love in action!
- Is there a part of you that you've been withholding from your husband or wife because you don't feel you are getting what you want from him or her? You can redeem your pattern of withholding by freely giving whatever it was, without the expectation of getting something in return.
- Forgiveness is a form of redemption. Are there past hurts that you say you've forgiven, but that you secretly hold onto? Do you keep them as a weapon to use during future disagreements? Let them go fully and forget them completely.
- If you find yourself on the other end of stick, being the one with the hurtful behavior, redeem yourself by owning up to your mistakes. Take personal responsibility and ask for forgiveness. Let go of defensiveness and excuse making. Seek a change of heart.
- Are there areas where your spouse is falling short of your expectations? You can redeem their shortcomings by releasing them from your expectations and responding to him or her as if they are already fully meeting your needs and desires. Look for, emphasize and celebrate the good you see in your spouse.
- Where have you allowed fear or shame to get a foothold, keeping you from the kind of intimacy you desire in your marriage? Redeem the time you have lost to the forces to fear and shame. Ask God to help you break free of these strongholds, to push past them and the leave them permanently behind you for the sake of intimacy.
I love the story of redemption in the book of Hosea. At God's direction, Hosea marries a prostitute. Eventually she seeks out the arms of other men, but these men ultimately reject her. Incredibly, instead of abandoning Gomer, Hosea takes her back again. His love is unrelenting, even in the face of her disgraceful and hurtful behavior. It's a picture of the relentless way God loves us, even in our wandering ways. Baker's Theological Dictionary sums it up this way:
The love of God for his people is more graphically portrayed by Hosea than any other Old Testament prophet. Refusing to give up on Israel, God continued to seek their return even in their apostate condition.In the same way, Jesus gave his life to redeem ours while we were a total mess. He told us that there is no greater love than to give your life for another. Give your life for and to your spouse - give yourself completely, holding nothing back. There is no greater love than this.
And don't forget, the true purpose of redemption is intimacy!
Do you have a story of where God has redeemed something in your marriage? Has he taken a mess and turned it around into something good? Have you seen redemption by your spouse at work in your marriage? Share your stories of redemption in the comments.
Links To More on True Love:
- True Love Puts Relationship Ahead of Rules
- True Love Pursues Relentlessly
- True Love Doesn't Expect Something in Return
- True Love Serves
photo credit: nyul / 123rf.com
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