Marriage as a Mirror to the Heart by Samantha Villenave

"The greatest need of every person is to know how to give love and receive it."
- Jill Briscoe, from her Bible Study, "Eight Principles of a Christ-Centered Marriage"

We are featuring the above teaching this week. It is a timely moment in our nation and in our lives to reflect upon our identity as women.

It goes without saying that our modern society is driven by consumption:
"What's in it for me?"
"How will I benefit from this situation?"
"What can this relationship bring to my life and how can it fill my needs?"

We use terms like "needy," "controlling," and "toxic" to describe people and relationships, cutting them off when they cause us pain. While setting healthy boundaries is a cornerstone to the foundation of every healthy relationship, viewing our relationships and our loved ones in these terms is unbalanced, unbiblical, and anything but Christlike. Children are often seen as a burden, taking away the "freedom" of a woman who wants to control her choices and future, but how much pain have we allowed women to endure by allowing them to believe that such a weighty choice has no consequences? Dating and choosing a partner because they fill our needs ultimately leads to a marriage that leaves us feeling empty and alone. We must let the mirror of marriage and the work of the Holy Spirit transform our intention outward, as an offering of love.

The model of the church as the bride shows us as being loved and loving in return. This is not because we will benefit, but because through the act of giving and receiving true love from the Father through the Son, we are healed and made whole by His Holy Spirit. We love because He first loved us. His love is pure, holy, and seeks our good with every instance. I truly believe this teaching on marriage will benefit married, single, divorced, widowed, and celibate women alike. We are all the Bride of Christ!

But... speaking of marriage... please don't forget we are partnering with Lauren and Matt Chandler for the live online Mingling of Souls Marriage Conference. This could be a great benefit to the singles in your congregation who are believing for a husband, as well as the married couples!

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