|Volume 21 Number 3 March 2019||
Mark N. Posey
Jesus Christ spoke seven final statements during His last hours on the cross. Christians cherish these phrases because they offer insight into the depth of His suffering to accomplish redemption. The seven last words of Jesus are presented here in chronological order.
Let us never forget that Jesus died for you and me.
Are Not God’s Fault
Marriage is not a human arrangement, but it is ordained of God (Genesis 2:18, 24; Hebrews 13:4). It is an obligation to faithfulness, not only to each other, but also to God. It is more than a legal contract. It is a partnership with each other and with God. Marriage is a union of a man and a woman in need of one another. One of the reasons that marriage is in crisis today is because many have lost this sense of being needed.
The crisis in marriage can be seen in that one out of four marriages is broken by divorce. In fact, more divorces are granted in the United States each year than the rest of the world combined. Of the three remaining, desertion takes its painful toll. Of the two that stay together, many are emotionally shattered and functionally do not work. One out of the four is happily married.
Since the odds are against a successful marriage, it is to our advantage to watch for symptoms of troubled marriages. Some symptoms are (1) loss of interest in family members and family activities, (2) loss of interest in caring for the house and personal property, (3) a sense of “drifting apart,” (4) chronic and unresolved conflicts, (5) lower than usual achievement levels, (6) poor interpersonal relations at home and other places, (7) defensiveness and overprotection, (8) marked changes in behavior, (9) undue suspicion of the other’s behavior, (10) low level of control over emotions, (11) chronic depression, (12) extremes in behavior, (13) overreaction to situations and (14) distorted and confused communications.
God has given us principles if they are followed whereby our marriages can be strengthened. A few of these are (1) making marriage a partnership (Genesis 2:18), (2) showing an interest in each other, his or her work (Philippians 2:4), (3) being unselfish (1 Corinthians 13:5), (4) never being jealous of in-law relations (Proverbs 6:34), (5) being tolerant (Matthew 7:3), (6) being pleasant (Proverbs 16:24), (7) keeping a merry heart (Proverbs 15:13), (8) hearing a matter completely before answering it (Proverbs 18:13), (9) speaking fitting words (Proverbs 25:11) and (10) being forgiving (Colossians 3:13).
Unhappy marriages are not God’s fault. He has given us principles by which to live. God doesn’t fail people. They fail themselves.