Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a two-part series. Click here to read part 1.
It's time for believers in troubled marriages to use Jesus' wisdom in Matthew 18 to bring resolve and healing to their home. Jesus' path seems rather confrontational, however, so why would someone want to invoke His three steps?
Let me suggest six reasons to do this:
Jesus gave us Matthew 18:15-17 not as an option but as a command. He left no room for sins between brethren to fester or be ignored. As disciples of Jesus, we follow His pathway simply because we want to obey Him.
Jesus' way is a fabulous gift to you. He has provided for the church to cover you spiritually so you don't have to weather the storm alone. To obey Him is not burdensome. Rather, His way will lift a burden from you. Don't deny the gracious gift He's provided for your marriage. Do it His way and He'll honor your obedience.
A second reason to follow Matthew 18:15-17 is because we believe in Jesus' wisdom. He alone is wise.
The unrenewed mind thinks, "If I follow the steps of Matthew 18 in my marriage, it'll be blown apart or become intolerable to stay in." But faith believes His wisdom surpasses ours and produces eternal fruit.
Some people don't follow Jesus' advice here because they feel hopeless about anything changing. In other words, their faith is depleted. Build yourself up, therefore, in your faith (Jude 1:20). Get your eyes back on God and renew your confidence in His ability to heal your marriage.
When we believe and obey the words of Christ, God steps in (because He likes faith). He makes up for our lack, releases His power and does amazing things on our behalf that can leave us astounded.
When you follow Matthew 18:15-17, you're being a peacemaker in your marriage. Where anger, resentment, suspicion, frustration and anxiety have damaged the peace in a marriage, repentance will restore it.
Outbursts of wrath kill the peace in a home. We must confess such sins so we can see the peace of Christ restored to our home.
To make peace is to declare war on all the divides and separates.
When a home is in good spiritual order, it's guarded by an encampment of angels that circle everyone in the home with safety (Ps 34:7). Sin can compromise that spiritual perimeter around a believing family. Follow Matthew 18:15-17, therefore, to reestablish a spiritual hedge around your home.
Don't be shocked when your home becomes a battleground. Satan has declared war on marriages and families. The war is real. He wants to break up your marriage and devastate your children.
Parents, you're the gatekeepers of your family. Withstand every attempt of darkness to compromise the spiritual security of your home. Do it for the sake of your children.
Another reason to obey Matthew 18:15-17 is for the sake of love. Let your love for your spouse and Jesus win the day. When sin has caused a breach in love, go after the breach. You're not attacking your spouse, you're pursuing love.
Tackle the issues head-on, early in the journey, to preserve love and restore the romance of your marriage.
A final reason to obey Matthew 18:15-17 is to avert divorce and preserve your marriage. I consider this the greatest benefit of following Jesus' counsel. When we resolve conflicts Jesus' way, our courage can save the marriage. Passivity is deadly, but courage is redemptive. Doing it Jesus' way doesn't guarantee that your spouse will be won to the wisdom of Christ, but it provides the best chance of saving the marriage.
I'm presenting this message to militate against divorce and to fight for marriage—your marriage.
We have a vision—for radiant wives who are nurtured and loved by their husbands, for respected husbands who demonstrate integrity in business and family, for upright children who establish healthy families of their own and for grandparents who glory in the legacy they grant their descendants. It's a vision worth fighting for.
If we'll fight for our marriages Jesus' way, I'm persuaded many marriages like Brad and Anna's can be saved, reconciled and restored to health.
This article is adapted from Bob Sorge's new book, STUCK: Help For the Troubled Home. For information, visit bobsorge.com/stuck
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.