In the book of Galatians the apostle Paul had a problem. He was writing to people who genuinely wanted to live a good life, full of love for God and others and at peace with their neighbors. Yet, they struggled with living in a society with many ideas and teachings. They were confused. In Gal 5:6 Paul is telling them to keep their eyes on the most important thing--faith working through love. It is the path to Christian freedom. Many other scriptures point to love as the cornerstone of Christian virtue and the highest calling. I think this wisdom is worth guiding us and navigating us amidst the storms of life. Faith, work and love all help guide us through a difficult journey. Marriage is a life journey that if allowed to be guided by the highest calling of love can survive the most difficult misunderstanding or hurt.
See how faith working through love can guide your marriage to a safe destination.
Faith is the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1). Faith points to hope, even hope in things that we cannot see. This principle applies to relationships. Couples hope for something. They have faith that their relationship will be full of love, care, fidelity and intimacy. Even before they met each other, they had faith that such a relationship could happen and that they would be a part of it. This is why couples who are in serious relationship trouble are so heart broken and despondent. They are losing their faith that love can rescue, restore and redeem their relationship.
You have heard it said, "Relationships take work." It is true. The work should be positive, fun, healthy, warm and encouraging. Relationships should not be drudgery. Think of the world of rock climbing. It is exhilarating. It requires conditioning for strength, skills for safety and risk-taking for excitement. But the rewards at the top of the mountain are immense--a great view and a feeling of accomplishment for succeeding at climbing that mountain. Working on a relationship should be similar kind of work. It is no coincidence that Paul paired faith and work together here as two parts of this phrase. Some people overemphasize faith. They pray and sit back or wait and hope that the partner will change. But they do NO work. And others overemphasize work. The relationship is a duty, a task, a project. Who wants to be someone's project? Paul put the two together because it takes both to achieve what everyone wants---part three, LOVE.
Love brings life to faith and work. It is the warm bond that connects partners. Love is the nurturance that every human needs and craves. It is the cornerstone of Christian virtues and the description of God. Love is spiritual. It is the embodied human experience of the love of God. "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Cor 13:7) Love involves our whole self at its fullest.
These three things are the foundation you build your marriage on. Build on this foundation and I believe you can stick to your dreams and desires of a great happy marriage. This Faith working through Love is my steering wheel I hold on to while helping couples improve their relationships.
I invite you call for your free experience of working with me. I will give you a test of how marriage coaching works. You will experience the hope needed to continue on your faith filled journey of LOVE.
All my best,
Debbie Kessler loves her husband, Wally Kessler. She is a southern girl who loves Jesus and loves building up people to do Good Works of Love.