The symbol of the cross is found on buildings, in artwork, jewelry and gestures around the world. It is both respected and reviled. In the middle east, Isis is actively tearing down every semblance of the cross. In eastern China, crosses were pulled down from 400 churches in 2014 because the Christians there are gaining more prominence.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing….” (1 Corinthians 1:18) When you see the cross, what do you think about?
What is the impact of the cross of Christ on your marriage? Years ago when we were young and Good Friday would come around we would wonder what was so “good” about it? All we saw was the torture, suffering, sacrifice, and death of Jesus. But now as we have grown older chronologically and spiritually, we have a deeper understanding of what Jesus’ sacrifice means to us individually and to our marriage.
Here are four things the cross means to all of our marriages:
1. The cross means salvation.
If Jesus had not gone to the cross on our behalf, we would be eternally enslaved to sin and headed for a Christless eternity. When one asks Christ into their life as their leader and forgiver, the death-grip of sin is broken.
Because our salvation is an act of God’s grace—giving us something that we don’t deserve—we have a model and standard of grace for our marriage. Our desire is to extend unmerited grace to each other in our marriage, just as God showed it to us through Jesus.
2. The cross means forgiveness.
Forgiveness means that our sins are no longer held against us—they are not recorded or recalled. When you accept Christ, you are acknowledging that Jesus has paid the death penalty for your sins. The promise in the Bible is that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Our forgiveness of each other has to follow the example extended to us. When we forgive, we make the conscious choice not to hold past transgressions and hurts against each other. We let it go and trust God with the situation.
3. The cross means power today.
There is a very real spiritual war being waged against our marriages. But we can take authority through Jesus’ victory on the cross against those evil forces. The rest of 1 Corinthians 1:18 above is that “…to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
When you recognize division coming into your marriage, you can pray a prayer like, “In the Name of Jesus, who shed His blood on the cross for me, I command the evil forces to leave and go where Jesus sends you.” Continue to call on the name of Jesus. Your confidence and strength is in His power, not your own.
4. The cross means an eternal future and hope.
We know that the best is yet to come. As a couple we don’t live in defeat, but in confidence. The world and its troubles are temporary, but heaven is forever!
What does the cross of Christ mean to your marriage? This week, reflect on what Christ has done for you personally and as a couple. Then talk about it and move forward in confidence as you build your marriage!