Do you and your spouse keep revisiting a pesky issue that is unresolved? Is it threatening your companionship? Are you discouraged?

Marriage exposes the real us.

When we stood dressed in our finest at the altar and exchanged our wedding vows, our hearts and minds were filled with hope, not all sorts of complexities that seem to tangle up the life we imagined. Financial problems, in-law problems, parenting problems, confusion over roles and expectations are like long octopus’ arms that wrap around us and squeeze. Your problem may not be one of these. Fill in the blank.

Are you in a squeeze?

You can get out of this mess. But you have to stop doing the same old things. You must stop thinking the same old things. And you must stop, go back to that day at the altar, and remember.

You and your spouse entered into a Covenant of Companionship, vowing to go through all the ups and downs of life together, in a companionable spirit, until you die. We’re released from our vows when our mates pass away. (There are two exceptions: Infidelity and Desertion.) What’s interesting is that not only does death release us from our vows, but’s it’s also fundamental to making the covenant binding in the first place. Covenants were God’s idea and they required the death of an animal or in the case of the New Covenant, Christ himself, to make the covenants binding. There are several mentioned in the Bible. We are part of the New Covenant explained in the New Testament. In the case of marriage, we die to our singleness. And to create a harmonious or companionable relationship, we undertook vows that required another kind of death to ensure the marital bliss we’re both hoping for. Also, in order for this to happen, God joined not only you and your spouse together, but He joined Himself and intertwined Himself into this new arrangement to ensure that this life-time covenant would be successful.

We weren’t alone at the altar. He’s still present in our marriages and has woven Himself into our covenants. He knows the complexities and entanglements that have been discouraging us. He knows how to untangle messes.

When we turn to Him, humble ourselves and pray, hope will revive. He will hear our words and our hearts and is a present help.

Prayer works. He hears.

Have you been praying together as a couple? It is central to becoming a companionable couple. Let Him revive the companionable in your companionship.

What else had we agreed to die to at the altar besides our singleness?

Ourselves, meaning our self-centeredness or in other words, we’re meant to orient our lives to a new way of being and doing, not just ourselves. In order to grow together in oneness, we not only need the presence of Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of submission to Him in prayer, but also the strength to build new patterns of selflessness and sacrifice. A reorienting must happen.

In the next blog post, we’ll look at the nuts and bolts of how to reorient.

Posted by Dana Red with


Our passage today is from Luke 15:11-32, often referred to as the story of the Prodigal Son. Most often the emphasis of this passage is placed on the prodigal. Today, I want to focus on the faithful father. 

When his youngest son asked him for his share of the father’s estate that must have hurt him deeply. But when the young man liquidated his portion and took the money and left, headed to a faraway country, that had to have broken the father’s heart. In fact we are told that the father grieved his son’s absence as one would grieve a death. 

I have a friend, a very committed Christian, who’s son was recently killed in an accident. She is absolutely devastated. Everyday her thoughts are filled with nothing except her son and the realization she will never see him again this side of heaven. She has told me that there could not be a more intense pain than that of a parent that has lost their child to death. 

The Scriptures do not tell us how long the young man was gone, but I believe in the context of what Jesus was wanting to convey to the crowd that it was a considerable amount of time. The intent is that the faithful father never gave up on his son.

Within culture of first century Judaism the father should have written the boy off. The boy not only shamed his father by asking for what he did, he magnified his shame with his sinful living. But the faithful father was ready to fully receive the young man back into the family.

This passage reminds me of a song written by Mike Payne and Ronny Hinson, “When He was on the cross, that I was on His mind.” One of the lines of this song says “He knew me, yet he loved me.” Christ knew every sinful and ugly thing I would ever do, and He still loved me enough that He died for me. 

Remember this, John said “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God, the Faithful Father knows everything about you and loved you enough to send His Son to die for you. Come home. 

Posted by Tim Parker with

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