In John chapter 17 we read how Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just hours before his death. What’s always struck me as interesting is the fact that unity was heavy upon His heart. In that one chapter alone, He appealed to the Father five times on our behalf asking for unity among believers.
If you’ve ever wondered why unity is so important to Jesus, we find the answer in verse 21. Let’s read the verses surrounding it too:
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. – John 17:20-23
Whether we go to church, read our Bibles, kneel in prayer, put money in the collection box or say, “God bless you,” on a Sunday morning, the most evident fruit in a believer’s life will always be His love for God and his love for others.
If we don’t have that, people will question our faith, and worse, they may question the God that we serve.
Let me step back for a minute. In fact let me step back about 25 years so I can share a little story with you. I promise I’ll bring you back to present day shortly.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, we met a young couple who were eager to get married. She was an odd girl who wore boots to bed. Definitely not popular. No friends to be found.
I felt a tug on my heart. Someone had to step up and show her some love. So I decided to put together a Jack and Jill shower.
Do you know what that is? At a Jack and Jill shower, you invite both men and women to wish the bride and groom well and shower them with some gifts.
In total there were six guests: my husband, my friend, my grandma, my sister, my sister’s best friend, and myself. Michael baked a double layer chocolate cake while I made little sandwiches and a big bowl of punch.
Huddled in the living room we waited until the sound of the doorbell announced their arrival.
“Surprise!” We stood from our seats applauding the soon-to-be-couple.
“Surprise what?!” she yelled. “There’s not going to be a wedding!”
Stomping into the room, she flopped down on the couch, crossed her arms over her chest and sat there in silence.
Standing nearby was a young man who was horrified, devastated and crushed.
Shortly thereafter, she went outside with her fiancé where they worked out their problems before coming back in.
What does that say to the world? Other than the fact that we’re human, and growing in grace, it can signify a lack of humility and a lack of respect.
I know she was young, but even mature couples can struggle to control their emotions. I’ve had my days too.
God calls us to be a unified church. Let’s start with a unified marriage.
We’re called to bear witness of Him, not merely with words, but with actions that bring us to the cross time and again. Actions that bring us down to our knees in prayer petitioning on behalf of those that we love. When people see love, they see Christ.
We live in a fallen world with broken people. Therefore there will be sorrow, there will be broken hearts, and there will be days when we have to speak to someone about it.
But do so in a way that brings glory to God and your marriage. Speak to someone who can breath life into your marriage. Speak to someone who will pray with you. Speak to someone who will guide you with wise counsel. Speak to someone who is seeking the best for your marriage according to the will of God.
And most importantly speak to the One who offers hope and redemption even on the darkest of days.
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife