Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Last year I had the pleasure to minister at The Bridge college ministry in Pine Hills, Florida. I was asked to speak to them on the eve of their return to college on the theme: “Following Jesus outside the church and on the campus”. The following week I was asked to return and share a message with the Children’s Ministry as they prepared to return to school. The theme was “How to shine for God right where you are”. In both cases I ministered from Matthew 5:13-16. Both occasions saw a powerful move of God in ways that blessed my socks off and the children, college students and the adults. Today as I began to write on Marriage, once again, the Lord brought Matthew 5:13-16 to my mind. Jesus is clear in this passage that we are the salt and light of the world. We can apply that to every area of our lives including our marriages. Let’s ask ourselves two tough questions:
1. Are we the salt in our marriages?
When I think of salt I immediately think of flavor. When someone in my family doesn’t feel well I prepare a big pot of bland stewed chicken and rice. Although it’s good for the tummy it doesn’t do much for the tongue because I prepare it bland. When I cook it with seasoning everyone is happy. Why? Because there is flavor now that it’s been seasoned.
Are we the flavor of our marriages? Is our tongue seasoned with grace, love, truth, compassion, peace and patience when we speak to our spouses? Are we working together with our spouses to keep or perhaps repair the flavor within our marriage?
2. Are we the light in our marriages?
In my childhood, each year at Christmas our church had the most beautiful candlelight service. Every one of us held a lighted candle as the lights were turned out in the sanctuary and then we all sang, “This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine.” I was always so amazed how the little light on each candle could light the entire big sanctuary as if we had every light on! Jesus wants us to shine for Him not only in the world but within our homes.
Are we shining for Jesus within the four walls of our marriage? Are our spouses and children seeing our smiles and receiving our warmth? Is the love of Jesus pouring out of you toward those whom you live with first or is everyone at work, at church or online (social media) seeing that side of you even more than your family? I remember ministering many years ago to a woman whose marriage was in an incredible upset. She was ready to quit. She was a kind woman who loved God and served in her local church but as I began to hear the situations within her home and the manner in which she would handle them I quickly could see that the outpouring of love and warmth she gave to others in ministry, her family was not receiving especially her husband. As we talked over a course of weeks, she admitted to being very short-tempered, impatient and said that she had a mouth that was on overdrive. God began to unfold some areas of her life during our talks. I began to help her through the power of the Holy Spirit to see that many of the problems within her marriage were because she needed to not just serve in church but to allow God to heal her heart and transform her mind so that true love would pour out of her at home first.
Please take a moment and think about this:
How can we love outside the home if we don’t first love within the home? How can we effectively love others if we don’t first love ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we don’t first love God? How can we love God if we don’t first receive and accept His love for us through Christ even in all our messiness? God loves us unconditionally. Believe Him.
I am thankful that my husband and I are salt and light to each other within our marriage now, however, we had to grow into that with God’s help. Marriage is a blessing but it can also be very challenging which is why we all need God’s help. Ask Him to help you. If possible, turn to other married couples that can set a good example for you. Have open, honest dialogue with each other about how you can both be salt and light within your marriage. Pray for your marriage and study the Word of God on marriage and put it into practical use day after day. If you are where you desire to be in your marriage, continue to pray and work together in Christ to continue being the salt and light of your marriage and pray for other marriages that may be hurting.
What are some tips you can offer to marriages to help them to be salt and light within their covenant?
I am praying for your marriage. We are in this journey together with God as our guide.