By John Worley
From the December 2012 Newsletter
By God’s grace, Judy and I have learned over these 45 years since our wedding that marriage involves accommodation, communication, trust, love, patience, kindness and sacrifice. The intended outcome is growth—relational growth between husband and wife, and reliance growth jointly upon the Lord. The relational dynamic between husband and wife, one of love and service and intimacy is, by God’s plan, a determining factor in the degree of functionality of our service and submission and worship, together for our Lord.
Faith is practiced individually and yet, by God’s design, given practical application in life—as partners in covenant before God, by marriage. Faith, to be functional, must make life application of what we know to be true from God’s Word—to how we relate to others, decide on issues, establish priorities and generally conduct ourselves. This conduct and character of our lives must consistently reflect that what matters to us is what God has declared and what God has promised. In this way we can learn to stop relating to life out of emotional reaction to our set of circumstances, but rather to make deliberate, predetermined faith-responses to the issues of life and the upsets in life.
As a marriage matures and correspondingly as a couple’s shared faith-reliance upon the Lord is strengthened, you become grateful for the frankness of God’s Word regarding what we face in life. We are warned in advance that as we grow up and then grow old, “we will have trials” (tribulations), John 16:33. In the same manner, we are warned in advance that our “outer man (physical body) is decaying” (with consequence of pain and suffering, diseases and discomfort, loss of strength and function and possibly even of mental awareness) 2 Corinthians 4:16. This world would of course be tremendously threatening and worrisome to a married couple in the later years of life, were it not for the promises also given in advance by our Lord. Assurance, to give confidence of convictions and perseverance in service and continuing faith-reliance in a God that is both in control and who care for us. Thus He has assured us as believers, that though we will face trials, opposition and even abuse daily in life, “in Christ we have peace” (John 16:33). God has given us confident assurance that we might act in confidence, because He has promised to be our “very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Furthermore, though the outer man will progressively show evidence and experience consequence of decay, leading eventually to death, the inner man (our spirit) is being renewed daily, having been already given eternal life (energized, enabled and assured inwardly by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:16). We have help in the present, hope for the future, and married life sustained by God’s grace.
John Worley was a member of FCC and a beloved elder of our church. He is currently residing in heaven.