A New Marriage

And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Revelation 21:5

My wife and I are reading Paul David Tripp's What Did You Expect? It is one of the best marriage books I have ever read.  To be honest, I often feel a level of guilt for reading a book on marriage in light of my own sins and shortcomings in my first marriage.  Shame loves to rear its ugly head in certain moments and yell, "Why are you reading a marriage book now? If you had been as focused on your first marriage as you are on your second, then maybe you would not be in this situation!"

Guilt and shame hinder and prevent healing, redemption, and growth. They love to remind us of past sins in hopes that we will stay focused on our failings and regrets instead of the liberating work of Jesus on the cross.  Guilt and shame are brutal wardens.

While reading Tripp's book yesterday, I was moved with this incredible reminder:

"Perhaps the brightest, most wonderful commitment of the Redeemer is captured in these words from Revelation 21:5: 'Behold I am making all things new." New is the operative word for what God is seeking to do in you and your marriage. You are not stuck. You are not committed to the mistakes of the past. You are not cursed to pay forever for your errors. God's work is in the work of renewal. He sent his Son to earth in order to make real and lasting change possible. God has made fresh starts and new beginnings possible. Reconciliation can take place. Restoration really does happen. What was broken can be healed. The weeds of the old way can die, and flowers of a new, better way can grow in their place. God will not call us to face our harvest without giving us what we need to face it, and he will not call us to plant new seeds of a better way without giving us the wisdom and strength to do it. As we face regret, we bask in forgiveness and then turn to live in a new way, embracing the power that is ours as children of God." (pp. 72-73)

God is in the business of making things new.  He is in the business of taking past sins, failures, mistakes, regrets, and hurts and transforming them for His glory and our redemption.

While most people view our marriage as a second marriage, God is making it a new marriage. The whole Bible is the story of redemption - of God dealing with our guilt and shame. That payment was made on a cross by Jesus where He took my sin and shame and guilt. God is making me new - my life, my marriage, my future.  Guilt and shame have no place in the life of a person being made new.

And that's worth celebrating!

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