love

The Gospel According to Marriage

BY: TRAVIS WILLIAMS

One of my favorite quotes on marriage is from Crawford Loritts, and he simply states, "Marriage is designed to tell the truth about God." I first heard this prior to being married, and I thought I understood it. Then I got married, and it really sunk in. 

Scripture shares with us that, if we want to get an idea of Christ's relationship to the Church, then take a look at marriage and how a husband and wife interact.  At the heart of the relationship between Christ and the Church is the Gospel narrative. The relationship starts with the grace, love, sacrifice and initiative of a loving God. And while we were yet His enemies, he loved us and sought out a relationship with us. Now, by no means am I comparing myself or my wife, to God. But through our interactions, I have come to understand God so much more. Marriage is a dance where two imperfect people have to submit to one another in order to make it work. Two people who are naturally selfish, impatient, ego driven, arrogant, bossy, proud and every other sinful adjective, work to create harmony. But because of these natural tendencies, offenses are bound to happen. Scripture even reveals this to us when Jesus shares with His disciples that offenses will come. And when they come, and they will come, you get to see the power of the Gospel at work. 

My wife tells me often that she has understood forgiveness so much more through marriage. When she knows that she is wrong, and I am quick to forgive her and overlook it, it gives her a picture of how Christ stands ready to forgive us. We often quote the scripture in Ephesians 5 where Paul demands husbands to love their wives like Christ loves the Church. Let me tell you, that's a lot easier to quote than to live out. I find myself getting a glimpse of how Christ must look at us sometimes. The amount of things he bears and endures while still loving us. Because we are such sinful people, I believe that most of Christ's love for us is love we cannot reciprocate even on our best day. It is truly agape love… love that loves expecting nothing in return. 

This truth about Christ is what I have seen as one of the biggest truths in a successful marriage. My wife and I have to work towards loving each other unconditionally, and God gives us opportunity to do so. He has a funny way of putting us in circumstances where we realize that, sometimes, the love we show our spouse will have nothing to do with their actions… because they could have just totally pissed us off. THAT IS THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL! While we were yet sinners, enemies of Christ, He loved us and died for us. 

The purpose of every Christ-centered marriage is not to produce children, help you not be lonely, please you sexually or find you a best friend. Even though these are perks of marriage, it’s possible for you to be in a marriage and have none of them. The purpose is to reflect the image of Christ in the earth through our interactions and love for each other.

The truth about the Gospel is that God is such a loving God. He's more loving than our minds can even comprehend. Watching how my wife deals with me and loves me through all my sinful tendencies has helped me understand this love story of the Gospel so much more. So, in the words of Crawford Loritts, let your marriage tell the truth about God. His truth is grace, forgiveness, love, longsuffering, forbearance, reconciliation and so much more. Let your marriage reflect that truth!


Travis Williams attended the University of North Florida where he earned two undergraduate degrees in Finance and Financial Services. He currently runs a financial services practice and has a strong conviction about Christians and their role in the marketplace. He married to his college sweet heart and best friend, Kristin Williams.

When Memes Lie

BY: CRYSTAL CHARLEY

Social media is flooded with pictures that include pithy statements called memes. We are constantly liking and reposting them.  However, many of us like and repost them without critically thinking through them. It’s easy to like or share posts that co-sign our emotions at the moment, but it’s important to seriously think through what we endorse. Many of the memes we share conflict with the scriptures we claim to believe. For example…

While it sounds good, is it really true that we only need ourselves? The bible stresses the importance of community. Community involves more people than “me, myself, and I.” God says in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone (this doesn’t solely refer to marriage). We need people. As the saying goes, “everyone needs somebody, sometime.” You cannot be productive in life by constantly isolating yourself.

 Or…

In other words, if you don't appreciate me, then I don't need you. So my need for you is only based on your need for me? Unfortunately, that is a conditional relationship. Is this the way of life? Doesn’t that seem a bit self-seeking? I know some may be thinking, “Well, it depends on the relationship level”. Let me ask you this, does unconditional love depend on the relationship “level”? Can I choose to appreciate others without it being reciprocated? A conditional relationship is like a contract; as soon as someone is not meeting our terms, we write them off. How can we love others as Christ has loved us if we have this mentality? 

There are tons of memes that promote selfishness and conditional love, but I think you get the point. Our culture promotes selfishness, and it is not surprising that our memes do, too. However, the bible teaches selflessness. Philippians 2:1-5 shows the attitude of selflessness and then commands us to do away with behavior that is in opposition to that state of mind… the mind of Christ.  Ephesians 4: 2-3; 32 commands us to walk with all humility, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity, being kind and forgiving. The fight for unity is the battle of building community, for which many are not willing to strive.

Many elements face us. Galatians 5:19-20 mentions most of them, but selfishness is the center of it all.  Combating our selfishness requires humility. Humility requires a truthful view about ourselves in relation to God (Romans 12:3). However, we often view ourselves in relation to our feelings, others, what’s around us, or our own ego. Humility seeks to grow and restore relationship where selfishness divides.

So, to my sisters and brothers, the next time you see or even want to post this:  

Ask yourself… What is the motive? What is the root? What does this say about me? Could it be that I’m building a destructive wall of isolation? Am I afraid, hurt, seeking revenge, lonely, regretful, or jealous? Make sure what you’re sharing, posting or reposting honestly speaks to your BIBLICAL convictions and is NOT the result of you being “in your feelings.”


Crystal Charley is a ministry student and servant leader. She is currently at student at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is devoted to the work of the ministry as a teacher, advisor, and disciple maker in her local church and community. She will marry her best friend Alex West in December. Crystal is currently developing Redeemed Creation (birthed from Galatians 2:20), a ministry that desires to capture and redeem women and children to a life of restoration in Christ.