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More About Jesus

Baptism?

or

Saying "I Do" to Your Friend!

MarryI graduated from college early in August-I got married on August 25 of the same year. Two weeks later my wife and I moved to Salt Lake City where I took up my duties as the new Youth Pastor. My wedding signaled an important change for me-in the space of an hour, my wife and I had gone from needing to be chaperoned to being qualified to chaperon others!!

As I look back on my life as a teenager, and especially my dating relationships, I'm glad to be finished with that phase of my life. Sure, some of it was exciting-but mostly I was uncomfortable and insecure.

Since my wedding (actually since I met and fell in love with the person who is now my wife) I have found much greater fulfillment and security. Why? Because now I share my life with someone who loves me and helps look out for me-I'm not on my own any longer!

Through the years (I have now been married for 22 years) I have noticed several things about marriage-some of them are listed below.

  • The ingredients for a good marriage are the same as for a good courtship-communication, trust, time spent together, love, etc.
  • Most good marriages follow a good courtship-a time when two people spend a lot of time developing a friendship.
  • The wedding ceremony does not change how people feel about each other-if love, trust, and communication is not there before the marriage the ceremony will not create it.
  • While it is true that the wedding ceremony does not change one's heart, it sure does change one's status in society.
  • A wedding ceremony is a public statement of two people's commitment to love and support each other-most people choose to have a wedding rather than to elope because they want their friends to know!
  • There is nothing magical about a signed and sealed marriage license. It is just an official acknowledgment of the relationship and commitment.
  • One purpose of marriage is to provide two people long lasting companionship and security-how many happily married couples would want to go back to the insecurity and trauma of their dating days?!?
  • Another purpose of marriage is to "preserve the human race"-in other words, have kids. Marriage is not intended to be just two people selfishly looking out for themselves, but two people joined together with God working for the good of others!
  • In the beginning, God set up marriage as a permanent, eternal arrangement-it was modified to "till death do us part" because of sin.
  • While marriage is intended to be permanent, it is possible to get a divorce and bring the relationship to an end-this event always brings damage and hurt.

"So," I hear you saying, "I thought this was supposed to be a study of baptism, not marriage-what's your point?"

Jesus often used the things we are familiar with to help us understand our spiritual life-our life with Him. He used marriage many times as an illustration of the special, intimate relationship He wants to have with us, His people. Baptism is to Christian life what the wedding ceremony is to a marriage.

As you go through this study, you may wish to look back at the points made about marriage and the wedding ceremony and reflect on what they mean to your life and friendship with Jesus.

"Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism unto death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God]" Romans 6:3-5 (The Amplified Bible)


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Lesson 13 - Introduction
Copyright 1997, Lee Venden and Thure Martinsen