Tag Archives: love for

Will We Still be Married in Heaven?

Jesus made it clear that no one will be married in heaven: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 NIV).

But this doesn’t mean that we won’t know each other or will cease cherishing our earthly relationship. The rich man recognized Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, even though he was in a different place and separated by a “great gulf” (Luke 16:19-31 NKJV). The disciples recognized Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration, even though these two men had lived many centuries before (Matthew 17:1-5). Finally, we recall the striking promise made by our Lord to the repentant thief in Luke 23:43, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (NIV).

The apostle Paul said we will have more knowledge in heaven than we have now (1 Corinthians 13:12). This implies that we will know and recognize people more fully in heaven than here on earth. He also said it was “far better” to depart and to be with Christ than to remain in the body on earth (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:22-23).

In all of these passages, heaven is depicted as a place of greater experience than we now know on earth and a place where we will have more knowledge and understanding. This would lead us to believe that we will recognize other members of our family, even though we will not live in family units. Instead, all believers in this age will be united in the bride of Christ and in fellowship with our Savior as the heavenly Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-33; Revelation 19:7,9).

Scripture leads us to believe that we will enjoy such a state of wonderful intimacy with our glorified brothers and sisters that there will no longer be a need for the exclusive relationships that protect us from loneliness and despair in a fallen world. This does not mean, of course, that we will not know and share a perfect love with those with whom we have been especially intimate in our earthly lives. However, all of the joys and ecstasy of marital and family love will be far surpassed by the joys of perfect intimacy and trust in heaven.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.58 out of 5)
Loading...

How Do You Handle Being Rebuffed When Attempting Reconciliation?

If we’ve lived and loved long enough, we all know the pain of a broken relationship. We also know the joy of reconciliation when that relationship is mended. Unfortunately, loving someone well and trying to reconcile with them provides no guarantee they will welcome restoration. When someone refuses to reconcile a broken relationship, frustration, pain, and self-doubts can grow. The desire to find a way to restore the broken relationship that works intensifies.

Sadly, there is no guaranteed procedure that we can follow to assure restoration of a broken relationship. Sometimes, all we can do is grieve the loss of that relationship. And that is what Jesus modeled for us. He is the perfect example of one who unselfishly poured out His love to His creatures and offered them the opportunity for reconciliation with their Creator. However, they would have nothing to do with Him.

In one of the saddest verses in the Bible, John records in a single sentence the fact that Jesus “came to His own, and His own did not receive him” (John 1:11).

Jesus’ response to the rejection of His offer of reconciliation was a deep grief and sadness that moved Him to tears and prayer for His people. We see the Son of God’s broken heart when He sits outside the walls of Jerusalem and laments: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

One of the most frightening truths that we all must face is the fact that we cannot force someone to love us, no matter what we do. Even if we take appropriate responsibility for harm we’ve done to them, confess our sin against them, and ask for forgiveness, there is no assurance they will respond in kind. They can choose to remain distant.

While an unresolved relationship is deeply disturbing, one of the most freeing truths is that no one has the power to stop us from loving them. And that’s all that God calls us to do, to love others the way He has loved us (John 13:34;15:12).

We all wish there was a “next step” that would make reconciliation work out every time. Sadly, there is no such step. However, at those times when our best efforts at loving are rebuffed, we do have the opportunity to share in our Lord’s sufferings, to experience His pain and His relentless longing for reconciliation (Philippians 1:29).

We need to guard against a false guilt that assumes we should be able to do something to “fix” every relationship — as if it all depends on us alone. While we must take responsibility for our part in a relationship, we must not assume that we are solely responsible for the breach in the relationship. Instead of holding another person responsible for their choices, we can tend to let people off the hook and blame ourselves for “not doing enough” or “missing something” that would be the key to unlocking the relationship.

That kind of thinking is not only demoralizing but controlling and unbiblical. God never asks us to assume responsibility for others, only ourselves. That needs to be our focus.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 3.62 out of 5)
Loading...

What Does It Mean for a Wife to Submit to Her Husband?

Some believe that being submissive means to simply obey and to deny personal feelings, desires, expectations, and dreams. They think a wife is not submissive if she shares her opinions with her husband.

Worse, countless women have been sent back to their homes and told to submit to abusive husbands — in some cases without anyone ever speaking to him about how he treats her. Some even believe that wives who are abused cause the abuse by their lack of submission.

This false concept of submission is often used to manipulate and control women. It advocates quiet obedience and subservience, and denies a woman’s irreplaceable value in her marital relationship. It also ignores the potential for a man to be heavy-handed and unloving in his attempt to be the “ruler” of his home.

Unfortunately, some Christian leaders have contributed to this false concept of submission by overlooking the husband’s obligation to love his wife. This is an extreme misrepresentation of Paul’s intent in Ephesians 5:22-30 .

Others have accused the apostle Paul of being a male chauvinist, one who didn’t respect women or see their value. If we consider what Paul wrote within his culture, however, we see that Paul had a high view of men and women. He understood how they can best work together in marriage to reflect Christ’s love for us.

In a day when men married for money, Paul strongly stated that husbands were obligated to love their wives (see also Colossians 3:19 ). Paul’s words to husbands were revolutionary in Greco-Roman society. Most men married not for love but for financial gain. Marriages were usually arranged, and the father of the bride provided a dowry — a portion of money, clothes, jewelry, and possibly slaves.

Paul’s instructions for marriage were a breath of fresh air. His thoughts were not those of a man who degraded women and wanted to “keep them in their place.” Quite the opposite — he elevated women to a place where they are to be loved as Christ loves the church. That is pretty radical thinking!

It is significant that Paul compared a husband and a wife to Christ and the church. He regarded marriage so highly that it is used as an analogy of Christ and His relationship to the church. If the husband is the head of the wife in the same way that Christ is the head of the church, we can safely draw conclusions from the comparison of Christ’s relationship to His bride, the church.

Christ loves His bride and is her Savior. Christ gave His life for her. Likewise, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves His church. A husband’s love should be sacrificial, nourishing, cherishing, and protective. A man should love his wife in the same way he loves his own body ( Ephesians 5:25,28 ).

The same level of devotion as required of the husband to love is required of the wife to submit ( Ephesians 5:22 ). Before looking at submission unique to a wife, though, we need to remember that Paul advocates mutual submission between believers ( Ephesians 5:21 ). No one is to demand or force another to yield; submission is voluntary. The Bible doesn’t say that it’s a husband’s responsibility to see to it that his wife submits to him.

A wife’s submission to her husband is in response to her love and devotion to the Lord first. She submits to the Lord out of a humble and grateful heart, not because she is a slave, but a servant. Likewise, biblical submission in marriage is servanthood, not enslavement. A godly wife is motivated to submit to her husband, not out of fear, self-interest, or self-protection, but out of love ( 1 Peter 3:6 ).

Scripture does not define submission as mindless obedience to a husband’s every wish or demand. Nor is it avoiding an argument at all cost. Instead, submission is a deep commitment to a person. It is choosing to work with one’s mate in a way that promotes oneness. A married couple becomes one flesh and must work as a team ( Genesis 1:26 ). Constant fighting and arguing works against a couple trying to become unified.

To illustrate, a team player must submit to the guidance of his coach. A good coach guides the team in strategy and utilizes the strengths of the players for the success of the team. A gifted player may debate a point with his coach, but there comes a point when, if they continue to disagree, the player must submit to his coach. Likewise, the wife, at times, must put aside her disagreements and follow the lead of her husband, whom God has placed in her life as the head. (Sometimes, it is not in the best interest of either the wife or the husband to submit, as in the case of abuse.)

Marriage, according to God’s design, is a relationship that returns love for love, service for service. Husbands and wives love and sacrifice for one another differently. Husbands love their wives by protecting, cherishing, and serving them. Wives submit to their husbands out of respect and love. Both the husband and the wife are given vast opportunities to show Christ’s love to one another. It is not always easy, but marriages can best reflect God’s redemptive work in our lives by following the principles of Christlike love and submission.

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (210 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
Loading...

What Are Some Unrealistic Expectations About a Remarriage?

All couples have dreams for the way they want their family to be. But some set themselves up for failure by holding on to unrealistic hopes. Here are a few of them:

We’ll have instant family happiness. It’s unrealistic to think that family happiness will happen overnight and without some struggles.

In a stepfamily, building a happy home takes longer. Losses associated with divorce, loyalty to biological parents, no shared history, and a lack of time together are just a few of the factors that can slow stepfamily bonding.

There’s no set timeframe for family cohesion. And it helps to remember that even intact original families must work to be happy. Like the church, it takes time, effort, and reliance on God for a spirit of unity and peace ( Romans 15:5-7 ). It’s the consistent application of gentleness, humility, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, love and patience that build unity (Philippians 4:5; Colossians 3:12-14 ).

Children will automatically welcome a new parent in the home. While single parents appreciate the added parental support in remarriage, children may not be as eager to tolerate the new authority figure. Feeling jealous or threatened by the new marriage partner, many children become either distant or aggressive in their relationship with the stepparent.

To defuse conflict, couples need to clearly define the stepparent’s role. As disciplinarians, stepparents shouldn’t be too heavy-handed or too permissive ( Ephesians 6:4 ). Talking with the children about the stepparent’s new role in the home, including them in setting house rules, and fair discipline can ease some of the turmoil. Spending time with the stepchildren and getting to know them can ease tension and build positive relationships.

The past won’t affect how we operate as a family. Some wish that they could erase the painful past of a family break-up. They fear that ex-spouses, money matters, and emotional pain will barge through the door of their new home and become regular unwanted boarders. So they pretend that these problems don’t exist.

Visitation schedules, child-support issues, and unresolved emotions should be discussed as they come up. Realistic acknowledgment of these problems is best.

Focusing on loving others can help us overlook some of the inconveniences of stepfamily life ( 1 Peter 4:8 ). We can also allow the difficult moments to teach us about patience, generosity, and focusing on others’ needs ( Philippians 2:4; Psalm 38:17-22 ). Facing the past and accepting certain realities of stepfamily life can encourage personal growth and healthy family relationships.

Our premarital counseling will prepare us for all that we’ll encounter as a stepfamily. Just as medical training in the classroom can’t fully prepare a doctor for work in the emergency room, premarital counseling is limited in what it can do to get couples ready for remarriage. There are intense emotions that arise and unhealthy ways of coping with the stress that can surprise us. It’s only in the challenges of stepfamily life that we become aware of some of the areas that need special attention.

While premarital counseling is important, it is equally good for stepcouples to continue to educate themselves about stepfamily life. Reading literature on remarriage and stepfamilies1 , networking with other blended families, and staying connected in a strong community of believers through church involvement are crucial to the success of stepfamilies (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:25; Galatians 6:2 ).

The desire of most couples entering remarriage is to create a safe, secure, loving home for their children and themselves. But if we tightly hold on to unrealistic expectations, we can unintentionally put our stepfamily at risk. Instead, stepfamilies can help themselves by taking an honest look at their expectations, adjust them according to biblical standards, and trust God to help them redeem the painful past and meet the needs of their new blended family.

  1. While RBC Ministries does not necessarily endorse all the concepts raised in the following books, they can be helpful for remarried couples and stepfamilies:
    The Smart Stepfamily by Ron L. Deal (Bethany House, 2002.) The Blended Family: Achieving Peace and Harmony in the Christian Home by Edward and Sharon Douglas (Providence House Publishers, 2000.) 7 Steps To Bonding With Your Stepchild by Suzen J. Ziegahn, Ph.D. (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2001.) Merging Families by Bobbie Reed, Ph.D. (Concordia Publishing House, 1992.) Back To Article
Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

How Can I Be Happy in My Marriage When My Spouse Is Not a Christian?

The fact that you and your spouse do not share the same faith in Christ can create a number of problems in your marriage. At one time, the differences in what you believed might have seemed like a minor problem. But now they have grown into feelings of detachment and resentment, hindering intimacy and causing a significant barrier.

It’s not uncommon in marriage to have feelings of loneliness and isolation. Any of us who are married can begin to lose our passion for our spouse. But a believer who is married to an unbeliever may have even more of a struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation, and resentment.

The challenge for you as a believer is to do all you can to set the stage and create an environment for your husband or wife to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Exhibiting Christlike love in your marriage has the greatest potential for compelling your spouse to trust in God.

Loving your spouse means putting your spouse’s needs before your own. It’s not ignoring your needs, but when he has a legitimate need (not anything that would violate you as a person), it is loving to do what you can to help him. Invite him to enjoy a deeper relationship with you and hopefully a future relationship with Jesus Christ. Loving him well is being truthful and honest about your feelings and allowing him the same freedom to have and express his thoughts and feelings. Open communication and mutual respect help define a loving relationship.

As you love your spouse, also stay committed to God and to your values. Continue to pray, to go to church, and to read the Bible. Pray for your spouse ( Colossians 1:9 ; Hebrews 4:16 ). Fellowship with other believers (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Hebrews 10:25 ). In 1 Corinthians 7:14, the apostle Paul explained that the unbelieving mate is “sanctified” through the relationship with a saved partner. This means that the unsaved husband or wife is set apart to a place of special privilege and spiritual potential through living with a saved partner. For example, an unsaved man who has a wife sincerely praying for him and living a Christian life before him in the home is in a position where conditions will be favorable to his salvation. Not only does his wife influence him, but fellow believers who know the man’s spiritual state will also join in prayer on his behalf.

But try not to push your unbelieving husband or wife. They may feel manipulated if you encourage them to go to church or read the Bible with you. Trying to get them to attend church with you or pray with you is futile. Unbelievers have no basis to want this. Why would they pray when they have no faith? Pushing them to do activities such as church-going may lead them away from the truth of the gospel. In fact, the apostle Peter told believing wives to win over their unbelieving husbands “without words” but by the “behavior” of “purity and reverence” and “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” ( 1 Peter 3:1-4 ).

Remember that your faith will be tested. There may be times when you feel that your efforts are worthless, that they are not making a difference in your husband or wife. Your partner may even misunderstand your motives at times and pull away from you. The distance you feel can make you want to give up trying.

During these lonely times with your mate, acknowledge your legitimate feelings of loss and disappointment over not having a happier marriage. Take them to God in prayer, for He will comfort those who grieve ( Matthew 5:4 ). God doesn’t promise marital happiness, but He gives us something far better — restored faith, hope, joy, peace, and love ( Psalm 119:116; 147:11; Romans 15:13 ). God uses difficult times like these to bring about patience and character in us, working for our benefit ( Romans 8:28; James 1:2-4 ).

Did this answer your question?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (61 votes, average: 3.90 out of 5)
Loading...