Hi Friends, as followers of Jesus Christ, we endeavor to live above reproach in all areas, especially in our relationships. Please don't take this to mean that we live each day perfectly, but our hearts are sold out for Jesus, and our greatest desire is to live out of His fullness. The abundant life happens effortlessly as we rest in the finished work of Jesus, meaning we understand the reality of our position in Him and that it is the Spirit at work in us.
Oh, what refuge we enjoy daily, abiding in the glorious shelter of the Most High. I'm convinced there is no better place to be than in Christ Jesus our Lord. There is an abundance of grace in this space, and we get to live out of it. In Him, we draw from the wells of salvation and on the power of the Spirit to walk as Jesus in the here and now. It's such a blessing. It's where we flow from rest, walk in peace, and overflow in love.
As the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves us. So we love others with the same love of Christ, by the Spirit. Today, we highlight key characteristics of Kingdom relationships, specifically Kingdom Marriage. I pray you'll be Blessed♥️.
“He has kissed us with the kisses of His mouth (Song of Solomon 1:2), killing our doubts by the tightness of His embrace. His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls.” - Charles Spurgeon.
Eight Characteristics of Kingdom Marriage
Jesus is central
Humility is essential
Sacrificial Love is foundational
Submission & Devotion is fragrant
Filled with Patience & Understanding
Jesus is Central
“And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.
I can't think of any other way to be in any relationship unless Christ is in it. He holds everything together (Colossians 1:17). Therefore, Kingdom Marriage has the same fragrance of love between Christ and His bride. There are several references to Christ's love throughout the Bible; it's quite stunning. Perhaps, one of the most amazing books we see His love portrayed is in Hosea.
Listen to the Lord speak to His people far off and to us, beloved.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”Hosea 2:14-20.
We begin here because without knowing the love of Christ, it is impossible to experience love, for God is love. It is something the children of God will continue to relish, enjoy, and linger in throughout all eternity. Let's complete chapter two in Hosea:
“And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’” Hosea 2:21-23.
You see, dear friends, it is all a work of God. The life of the children of God is the fruit of God, Himself. He has betrothed us to Himself, and as we spend time with Him, in His presence, we live in the Light. He is the third party, quite frankly, the most crucial party in a marriage. He is how we remember to see marriage as the gift that it is. It is sharing the life and liberty we have in Christ with another under His supernatural covering.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Hebrews 13:4.
It is not only for those who are married, but all of us should hold the sanctity of marriage in honor. It is humanity's proper response to God's sovereign order. It's responding obediently to the love of God. One of the ways we do this is by living by the word of God and holding it (the Word) preeminent and authoritative concerning all things in life, especially relationships, and intimacy.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.
There is something to be said about waiting until marriage for the relationship to be consummated. The marriage bed is the crowning of the covenant between a man and a woman. Notice, “they shall become one flesh”. The intimacy between a man and a woman is incredibly intense and sacred and involves physical, emotional, and spiritual consummation. God created it for our enjoyment, a height of delectable pleasure only experienced within the confines of marriage. I say this because, in marriage, there should be the utmost covering, safety, and security second to that shared between each person and Christ alone.
Friends, it's not popular, but something needs to be said about abstaining. Waiting until we are married is for our protection in so many ways. We know there are multiple levels of trauma that occur when we give ourselves freely without covering. Sin produces death.
Before you get upset 🛑 right there, I didn't set the boundaries, God did! And He did so that we would be kept from the folly, pain, heartbreak, and systemic effects of sin, including death to dreams, destiny, and in some cases, physical and emotional death.
Friends, God knew the messiness of life, and because of His love, He came down to give His own life so that whatever the case- marriage, the marriage bed, and all the fruitfulness expected to go with it could be resurrected. Dreams and destiny in Christ sometimes are postponed until we come into the knowledge of Jesus and receive all He has done for us.
Remember, God is working. He specializes in shaping clay and bringing a testimony out of the dark seasons. Just look at Genesis one. See what God had to work with before creation ~ nothing. But He called forth beauty, and it came into being. For anyone who feels all is lost because you didn't abstain - I'm here to tell you; all is not lost. God can restore the loveliness of chasteness to us.
Don't believe the lie of the enemy-all is not lost! When we give our lives to Christ, He redeems and restores us to His original design. We are loved, set apart, holy, and blameless before Him. And we are new creations in the body of Jesus.
Whatever past we've had will be used to testify of His grace and will ultimately bring glory to His name. Hallelujah! The marriage covenant is sacred. It's designed by God, for His people to enjoy every facet of the covenant. Seeing it as such is the first step in the appropriate appraisal.
Humility Is Essential
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”1 Peter 3:8
Beloved, the Bible instructs us on the importance of clothing ourselves with humility. Here, once again, Paul is speaking to the church of Christ, and it is befitting that we allow the pureness of the word to grow deep in our hearts that we would see humility is essential in every area of life, especially relationships. As we think of others more and live from seeking their best interest before our own, we overflow from a place of unconditional love. This isn't to say there are no boundaries, but the ones set are out of protection, not of fear, maliciousness, or manipulation. They are set out of love for ourselves and others.
Sacrificial Love is Foundational
“Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:25.
How wonderful love is when it is selfless, friends. When it cultivates the best for the other person, holding them of great value because they are made in the image of God. The love between a husband and wife is fragrant of the Lord, Himself. Here we see the picture of the cross. Christ was obedient to the point of the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. What would marriage look like if we adopted the same mindset? As the children of God, we have access to and are endeavored to share this beautiful sacrificial love within the marriage covenant through the help and guidance of the Spirit.
Submission & Devotion
“Let every wife be supportive and tenderly devoted to her husband, for this is a beautiful illustration of our devotion to Christ.” Colossians 3:18 [TPT]. Again, I love this translation because it speaks to the fragrance within a marriage that is wrought in Jesus.
Here is another translation I love equally: “Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord.”Colossians 3:18 [AMPC].
Nowadays, the word submission is offensive to many people. Still, its importance is significant, for it is used throughout the Bible, and I don't want to lose the context of the verse because submission is both beautiful and powerful when it pertains to Christ. God is not asking us to move in something foreign to us but to move in exactly how we are created submission unto Him. As women, we can wholly submit to our husbands as Sarah did to Abraham. Even when Abraham made a mistake, not once but twice (giving Sarah to Pharaoh and Abimelech), Sarah was protected not because her submission was unto her husband but because her submission was unto God.
Submission begins for both husband and wife under our Good Shepherd. I chose my words carefully to include His full title, "Good Shepherd." As children of God, we are first loved and cared for by Christ, who is God and He is good. This isn't a power struggle; instead, this is the sweet work of the Spirit in us, producing beautiful fruit in our lives.
Patience & Understanding
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”James 5:7-8.
Beloved, the Lord is long-suffering and has generously supplied Holy Spirit who enables us to endure patiently. Patience is a virtue that grows under challenging circumstances, and we know that in marriage, there will be hiccups along the road. The verse from James is so encouraging that we are admonished to establish our hearts knowing our Lord Jesus' coming is at hand. It's believing in the finished work and looking forward to His coming that will strengthen us to be patient and endure.
“Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”Malachi 2:15.
Our last point today is on remaining faithful in the marriage. Although the verse mentions men staying loyal to their wives, as women, we ought to remain faithful to our husbands. We see that marriage is not only the joining of two people but a union in the Spirit. Friends, this is why the marriage covenant is sacred and essential to God our Father. As with the Lord, He is patient, and as our High Priest, he understands us; we are to grow in patience with our spouses, allowing grace to flow through us. Marriage is the soil where we cultivate knowledge through prayer and petition. We get to grow in intimacy with God, and this is a beautiful gift! May we see it as such.
Beloved, if you are waiting for your Kingdom Spouse, you are in a beautiful time of preparation. A time when Christ, Himself, courts us. We walk in deep intimacy with Him as the lover of our souls and pray for our future partner to be rooted in Christ. It's a time to be built up in the faith of our Lord Jesus, made strong in the Spirit. It is glorious!
Well, these are a few characteristics woven into Kingdom Marriage. In the Kingdom, marriages flourish and are fragrant and patterned after the Father's divine design. In all of it, we see our Lord Jesus as preeminent and foundational to the marriage covenant. Finally, we understand the necessity of the Spirit to work in us and at work in the marriage, so we bear much fruit for the Kingdom.