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Preach the Gospel Powerfully—Through Your Marriage

This past weekend, Lori and I had the privilege of spending some time with Pastor Herbert and Tiffany Cooper of People’s Church, an incredible life-giving church located in Oklahoma City, Okla. I spoke to their congregation about what an ideal marriage looks like, and I used a passage of scripture that I believe can serve as a real wake-up call for many of us as leaders who are married today.

In Genesis 18:1-9, we find the story of when Abraham, while sitting just outside of his tent, encountered three men, whom we later discover were angels sent from God on their way to check on the city of Sodom and the horrible reports of sinful acts that were occurring there.

Abraham was so excited about these men that he immediately went to get water, bread and one of his finest calves to roast for them, all with the hopes that they would rest at his tent for a while and eat before continuing on their journey. The men agreed to stay, and just as they began to sit down to eat, asked Abraham a very important question:

“They they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” —Genesis 18:9

At first glance, it would seem that these men (or angels) of God were inquiring about Sarah’s physical location. But I believe their question was much deeper than that. As you read on in the verses that follow, these were not men who lacked perception or discernment. These were three men who had the mind of God and who were all on assignment from God, so their question to Abraham on that day in my opinion, had a very important agenda behind it.

They were not really asking Abraham about the location of his wife, but rather of her condition.

After 24 years of marriage and ministry together, Lori and I are more determined than ever before to always be aware of the condition of our relationship. Is our love still as passionate as it was when we first got married? Are we quicker to hold onto the problems of the day than we are to hold each other’s hands? When it comes to the condition of our marriage today, where are we?

When asked where his wife Sarah was, Abram responded with what I can imagine sounded like a grunt. “Here, in the tent,” Abram replied. In what was arguably one of most important seasons in Abraham’s life, he was in one place, while his wife was unfortunately in another.

I realize many of you reading this today may be still on cloud nine after last week’s Valentine’s Day activities, but for those of you who are married, may I ask you this one important question:

Where is your spouse?

Nothing on earth communicates the Gospel of Jesus Christ like the condition of our marriages, because it is marriage that best demonstrates the full embodiment of God’s covenant. When husbands and wives are no longer doing life together but choosing rather to just go through the motions as separate individuals, our churches, our children and communities as a whole suffer greatly.

If we as believers really care about making a lasting impact for the cause of Christ, the following four questions must always be kept front and center when it comes to our marriages: