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Faithful Christian Marriages Evangelize

As Valentine’s Day nears, Equip Executive Director Pieter Valk reflects on the meaning of Christian marriage by recalling his toast at his brother’s recent wedding. The toast begins with some personal notes and focuses on the hope-giving nature of Christian marriage at 3:05 in the video below.

God often feels distant, far away, and difficult to hear. Do you feel that same way sometimes? Does that make it easy for you to doubt whether God exists?

It does for me.

God’s love is difficult to understand and experience. God is mysterious. God the Father and God the Spirit are not human. God the Son is not here. In this messed up world, God can often feel distant.

But Jesus left us with ordinary and beautiful things to help us understand and experience God’s love.

Marriage is one of those things. God designed Christian marriage to embody and display God’s mysterious love. When Christians marriages faithfully lean into God’s design for the vocation, those marriages are supposed to make it easier for all of us to believe that God exists and He loves us.

To be clear, those who are single for now or have intentionally committed to lifetime abstinence to serve our communities in ways parents don’t have the time, energy, or financial freedom to—our singleness also embodies and displays God’s love. Plus, when we do vocational singleness well, we give people hope for Heaven where none of us will be married yet all of us will find love and belonging without the need to be more attractive or intelligent or funny or wealthy.

But we’re toasting to marriage. So I pray that your marriage embodies and displays God’s mysterious love in ways that makes it easier for you and the people around you to know God’s love.

    1. May the intimacy you share remind us that God wants to intimately love each one of us.

    1. When you raise kids, whether kids you give birth to or through foster or adoption, may we be reminded that Jesus lived and died so that we may have new life—that God’s love is life-giving.

    1. May the differentness between the two of you as man and woman remind each of us that there is a beautiful differentness between us and God.

    1. When you invite people outside of your nuclear family into your home for a meal or perhaps even give them a room to call home, may we be reminded that Christ’s work on the cross was ultimately an act of hospitality, making a way for us to return home to God’s love.

    1. And despite the many challenges you will face because you’re two imperfect people doing life together, when you faithfully continue in marriage until you die, may your faithfulness remind us that God’s love is perfectly faithful. No matter what we do, God does not abandon those He loves.

To all those in Christian marriages: may you lean into God’s beautiful design for marriage, may you experience and display God’s extravagant love, and may the love in your marriages make it easier for all of us to believe that God exists and He loves us.

Amen? Amen!

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