Combating Confusion with Jealousy

This month is a critical month in the history of our nation! The Supreme Court Justices will decide whether to force legalization of so called “same sex marriage” in every state.

We need to pray, but as we pray, I believe to avoid being hypocritical, every Christian married couple needs to examine themselves by asking, “Does my marriage glorify God to the point that it provokes other types of relationships to jealousy?”

You might be thinking, “What in the world do you mean by that?” In Romans 11:11, Paul states “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” The apostle is explaining that because of the rejection of Christ by the Jews (their trespass or fall), the attention of believers was turned to converting Gentiles. This glorious benefit to the Gentiles will in turn arouse jealousy in the Jews (to want what they have). D Martyn Lloyd Jones stirred my thinking with his practical insightful application:

How often have I had to say this in my pastoral duties when people come to me in this kind of situation. They say that they are the only Christian in the family, what are they to do? Sometimes they have asked whether leaving home is the answer to this problem because they had witnessed to their relatives and prayed for them, but the result seems to be more that they become even more antagonistic. What I always say on such occasions is that leaving is the last thing such people are to do. Now I’m not talking about churches here but about family relationships. The thing that I always try to impress upon them is that they may be talking too much whereas the most important thing they have to do is so to live the Christian life before their relatives that they will begin to think that you have something wonderful which they do not have, and gradually they will begin to feel they would like to have it also. That is exactly what being provoked to jealousy and emulation means. I tell people not to hammer others with the gospel, still less to condemn them, but to go out of their way to win them, to be kind and helpful to them, putting them first, and even to suffer if necessary. Live your Christian life in such a way and in such a manner that they are compelled to say – Well, there’s something wonderful in this after all! And that will begin to set them thinking, seeking, searching, and eventually it may lead to their salvation. Now I say we are called upon to do that with individuals, we are called upon to do that with regard to churches we may regard as apostate. The ultimate objective should be to win them, to provoke them to emulation by seeing the fruits of salvation in us.[1]

As I read these words, I was again reminded by the Holy Spirit that the greatest testimony we can have to same sex couples, cohabitating couples, and any other type of dysfunctional relationships is the testimony of a Christ centered marriage that is so full of the joy of the Lord that when displayed before them, it will provoke them to jealousy. These confused and distorted relationships need to see Christian marriages that are so different, so Christ centered, so full of peace and love that they ask themselves, “How can I have that?” We must all humbly and honestly ask ourselves if we have that kind of marriage. Does my marriage point to the ultimate in the universe – the love of Christ for His church (Eph. 5:32)? It’s easy to point our fingers at what’s wrong (and we should pray and fight for the faith), but I believe we must first examine ourselves.

I have written several articles over the last year that were birthed out of my passion that marriage be preserved as a sacred institution designed by God for His glory. Links to these articles are given below as positive direction for our lives. May the world around us be provoked to jealousy when they witness our Christ centered marriages!

Marriage is Precious

Will Traditional Marriage Survive?

Twelve Ways to Protect Your Marriage

Cohabitation, Common Law Marriage & other Ambiguous Questions

Speaking the Truth in Love to Homosexuals

 

[1] D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Romans Exposition Chapter 11, 77.