Usually articles are written on websites—including Build Your Marriage—to address issues in marriage that need solving, correction or advice. But every so often we all need a “Way to go! Yay God and yay you!”
This is part 6 of 7 in our series on what Jesus would say to our marriage. If Jesus’ words to the seven churches in the book of Revelation were used as an evaluation of your marriage, what challenges would he have for you? What words of encouragement might you hear?
There are always areas in which we can improve. But frankly, it can be a bit disheartening to keep seeing new things to address. So let’s take a breath and celebrate the good things that are happening in your marriage. Sound good?
Of the seven churches that Jesus addresses in chapters 2 & 3 of the book of Revelation, only two of the churches received total praise. Smyrna was the first church to receive all praise, and Philadelphia was the second.
The city was established by a Pergamenian king who named it Philadelphia (translated “brother love”) because of his love for his brother. It was located on a major highway, was a fortress city, and known for their textile and leather industry. Philadelphia was called the “Gateway to the East” as well as “Little Athens” because of all the temples in the city.
But in the midst of all the external pressures to conform, this band of Christians was standing strong—and Jesus had nothing but praise for them. And as you stand strong in your marriage, here’s what he might say to you…
“I know your deeds”
“I see you and your efforts to give grace to your spouse. You forgive often and ask forgiveness when you’re the transgressor. You are faithful in your deeds, your mind, and your heart. You flee temptation and cultivate your love. You invest in your marriage. You are respectful in your conversations and in your conflict. You strive for understanding and unity—and I’m so pleased with you!”
“You have little strength”
“I know there are times when you feel weak, but you depend on my strength to get you through the rough times. I know you don’t have all the financial resources you would like, but you rely on my provision for your needs. I know you face cultural pressure to be distracted from your marriage, to dilute your commitment to each other with other good pursuits. But you choose the best—your marriage covenant—and I’m so pleased with you!”
“I have loved you”
“When you show love for each other, you go beyond romantic love. You remember the sacrificial love that I modeled for you on the cross. You fight being self-centered and instead, you submit to each other. You serve each other like I served you—and I’m so pleased with you!”
“I will keep you”
“As you keep me in the center of your relationship, you can rest assured that you are under my protective care. You have my favor—my blessing. You will be strengthened by me and guided by my Spirit. You will experience the fullest depth of your marriage—and I will continue to be so pleased with you!”