Today, like so many throughout the world, I was pondering resolutions for the coming year. I know it may be bad form as a Christian to think about, or make New Year’s resolutions, but there I was, contemplating how I could be a better man in 2014. I Googled, and read the Resolutions written by Jonathan Edwards. There is much wisdom and grace in those resolutions.
But honestly, I, can’t make myself be a better man. I think this is where the stigma for resolutions come into play for Christians. Resolutions are the activities we resolve to accomplish or omit from our lives to be better men, women, persons, citizens, etc. But we live in a fallen world and outside of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit of God in our lives we cannot ever make ourselves better. We sin, we fail, we fall.
But there I was thinking about resolutions. Then it hit me, like a five ton heavy thing. Well, more like an Ephesians 5:25-27 ton heavy thing.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
To sanctify means to set apart. Just as Christ is doing for His church. As a husband, when you marry someone you set them apart from the world. They are set apart for special protection, special care, for special attention, for a special purpose. When you get married, that is what you have done. You have taken her out of the world and set her apart because you want to devote special attention to her.
Christ loves the church and is committed to removing all the blemishes so He can present her in all her glory and beauty to Himself. This is the purpose of love. To bring about the perfection of the beloved.
If I can love my bride and treasure her in similar fashion as Christ loves the church then I will have a wonderful new year, God will be glorified, and my bride will be a blessed woman for it. I resolve to be more like Christ.
But I can’t do it alone.
Soli Deo Gloria!