There are so many profound short verses in God’s Word that have application for life. One of those short verses that can be overlooked is Colossians 2:6, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.” The apostle Paul in the previous portion of the epistle gave thanks for the followers of Jesus in Colossae and prayed for their spiritual growth. In Colossians 2:4, he shares with this young church that he doesn’t want anyone to be led astray “by persuasive arguments,” and he celebrates their faith in Christ.
Then he distills into one simple, practical statement how to live out the gospel, and it is the same way we initiate our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is one way for people to come to faith in Christ and that is by repentance and faith in Christ alone for salvation—turning away from other gods (including ourselves) and surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.
How, then, we are to live this life of faith every day is the same way we received Christ – by repentance and a life of surrendered obedience to the Lord. The everyday practice of the Christ follower is repentance and faith – to turn from the world, our own ways, and the devil and consciously surrender all things to the Lord. The practice and discipline of this simple truth is revolutionary in so many areas of life.
Since it is close to Valentine’s Day, what would this truth look like in our marriages?
1. Repent of wrong and have faith in your husband/wife. This is huge. We often do wrong, if for no other reason than we are two different people from two different families. Trust your husband/wife to recognize the authenticity of a repentant heart, and express gratitude when he/she responds with forgiveness, kindness, and encouragement.
2. Repent of denial, lies, and emotional blocking, and have faith in godly solutions. Denial, lies, and emotional blocking are the fruit of broken people raised by broken parents living in a broken world. Godly solutions exist in the fertile soil of truth and honesty. Even if the context of a disagreement becomes distressing and uncomfortable, digging through the clutter of insecurities and past hurts is healthy for a relationship. By respecting each other and aiming for a healthy resolution, trust begins to grow and flourish.
3. Repent of selfishness and have faith that God is working in and through you. Part of a healthy marriage relationship is learning to inspire each other to live selflessly. Do you admire him? Or do you speak regularly about her character and godliness in public? I’ve been around too many men who crush the spirit of their wives with words of comparison or eyes that wander. Ladies, do you respect your husband with your attentiveness and respect? Selflessness always speaks kindly of one another. A godly marriage is not about me. It is about glorifying God by how we lay down our lives for our husband or wife.
One more successful thing (v.7): Express gratitude to the Lord for your husband/wife, and then look in the eyes of your beloved and speak of the areas in life where you have a deep appreciation for what he or she does as a sacrifice for you. But don’t stop there, lean in and say thank you for who he/she is in God’s purposes.
There are times I find myself overwhelmed by the goodness of the Lord for the days I have to spend with Sharon. When you stare down the barrel of a cancer diagnosis, you are grateful for every day, or you become bitter that your journey has taken a sharp turn away from what you would have imagined. Gratitude is the way to welcome the detours of life.
Repent and choose the way of faith in Christ in all things. That’s how simple the way of the cross is. It is how profound the gospel is for everyday living.