40 is kind of a scary number. It is one of those numbers of Biblical proportions, like Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. In the Bible 40 is a number of testing, preparation and completion. We figure since we have completed this wilderness wandering now we are ready for the Promised Land of marital bliss. We’ve been told the first 40 years are the hardest.
Since I am preaching on my 40th anniversary I thought I would take it as an occasion to offer some Biblical reflections on marriage and the secrets of long marriages.
But what about those here who aren’t married? The teaching in Scripture about marriage and family has many applications. It is not just limited to those who are married. Our understanding of these parts of God’s Word will help us in all your relationships. So on many levels it is valuable for all of us to be a part of biblical conversations about the home.
Being married and having kids are two of the hardest things you can do. Especially when you factor in how long it lasts.
Marriage is one of the most sanctifying things anyone can do. Having kids is another. Those two things expose your heart, your sin, your selfishness like few other things.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be sanctified if you aren’t married or don’t have kids. God is very creative and can accomplish that in a thousand ways. A roommate, health issues, a job, a boss, parents, siblings, the driver in front of you, the list goes on and on.
Whatever it is in your life that God is using to sanctify you, that thing is being used by God to make you more like Jesus. We can resist and rebel, or we can submit and cooperate.
Marriage is a spiritual battle ground. Instantly after the first marriage Satan was there to destroy it. He is the enemy of all marriage because marriage is a reflection of Jesus and His Church.