LOVE & MARRIAGE – A TESTIMONY & A TRIBUTE
GOD’S ULTIMATE POWER TEAM
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32.
In his conclusion of what is possibly the Bible’s most complete instruction and exhortation about a godly marriage and family, the Apostle Paul unveils the deepest calling and purpose of every marriage on earth; reflecting the mystery of the everlasting covenant love between Christ and His church! From friendship to romance, to commitment, to intimacy, partnership, family and companionship, the marriage covenant bears the clearest testimony to the profound and eternal love between God’s son and His bride.
The marriage institution with its privileges, obligations, joys and sorrows, when practiced according to God’s Word, demonstrates the relationship between the Savior and His people better than any academic formula or doctrinal confession ever will. No theological exercise, no matter how accurate, could ever lead the human heart to the place of deepest affection, gratitude, exhilaration and death-to-self that is found in the context of a godly marriage.
Those, however, who are called to be, or by circumstances are single, have access to a grace and a joy from God Himself that is able to present them complete and fully equipped for life and for service before His presence. Those of us who are married, however, must give earnest attention to and come into alignment with God’s plan and purpose for our marriages.
OUR OWN TESTIMONY
Having served the Lord as singles for years, we were both ready and looking forward to find the life partner which God prepared for us. We met on the mission field, fell in love, and were married within seven months. We recommend that young couples take a longer season than that to build their relationship, get to know one another and cultivate their commitment before they marry. In our case, however, being in our late twenties and somewhat mature (or so we thought…), we decided to wed in the spring of 1983.
From the beginning, we understood that our union was “bigger than ourselves” and spoke of the reality of the ONE NEW MAN of Ephesians 2:14-15, depicting the new peoplehood of God for whom our Lord died and rose again. We saw the vision of this magnificent Body of Believers, we understood the doctrine, and even printed the text of Eph. 2:14-15 on our wedding invitation!
However, we had no realization at the time how much resistance, strife and warfare would rise to oppose our oneness from even those closest to us. In addition, along with the trials of life, the joy and responsibilities of children, and the demands of work, the deeper issues of cultural, ethnic and social differences (being a Jewish/Gentile Israeli/American couple) began to surface, stretch and divide our oneness.
Worse yet, our marriage was also sacrificed on the altar of ministry for many years. “Serving God” and responding to His calling on Reuven’s life without recognizing and esteeming our oneness, came at the expense of our family all too often. We became a ME instead of a WE! This created emotional vacuums and marital “disconnect” that acted as a ticking time bomb.
I, Reuven had forgotten our covenant commitment to full partnership and joint calling, if I ever fully knew it, and was gradually seduced by success, pride and eventually my own sin. I, Mary Lou, was trying to survive the encroaching darkness and understand what was happening to our marriage, blindsided by sickness and a breakneck pace of life while raising young children in a demanding international ministry whirlwind.
Being surrounded by many who had already suffered the breakdown of their first marriage and had consequently remarried, and others who looked to us as the “experts” and the “model couple,” we did not reach for help when our need began to surface. Eventually, generational sin, character flaws and bad choices drove Reuven to the point of adultery and our marriage to the brink of a total breakdown. Praise be to God who provided a way of escape and deliverance, and gave us the grace to confess, repent and forgive, leading us to full cleansing and restoration. By His grace alone we walk in love and stand in truth as we serve Him today.
THERE IS HELP
Before we had even reached for help, God had already brought into our lives good friends from 2=1 marriage ministry (2equal1.com), an international Word based and Spirit led ministry that is dedicated to healing, restoring and discipling marriages. It was the love of their counselors, the wisdom of their teachers and the faith of their intercessors that taught us God’s powerful truths of covenant, oneness and true partnership which strengthened and equipped us in our long journey toward healing and restoration. We shall forever owe them a debt of gratitude!
These friendships will always remain dear to our hearts since they touched the deepest needs and aspirations of every couple - our marital oneness and joint calling as husbands and wives in Christ. As it is written, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
HOW ABOUT YOUR MARRIAGE?
The leadership of 2=1 is presently developing new training tools to help couples work together as a powerful team. The sad fact is that far too many couples are settling for far less than what their marriage should and can be. In God, opposites not only attract, but also work synergistically together, and our differences are meant to compliment, not compete or divide. There is great strength in diversity, and God, Who through His Spirit that is working in us has given us unique personalities, talents, and anointings, also wants to teach us how to blend and synchronize them in such a way that the world may see the power of true agreement and partnership. As the prophet said, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Amos 3:3.
Every marriage has a powerful purpose and calling, and you too can learn how to work together as a dynamic husband-wife team during the 2=1 upcoming gathering at Heritage International Ministries (HIM) in North Carolina, April 23-25, 2009. If you want your marriage strengthened and brought into greater alignment with God’s power and purpose, check out 2equal1.com and click on convention 2009.
Displaying God’s covenant as no other institution on earth, it is obvious that marriages are under assault. Even the definition of marriage is now violently opposed among the reprobate. Good marriages don’t just happen; rather we have to contend for them. Growing in marital oneness is not simple or easy since it requires love, self denial, humility and intentional cultivation of the relationship; principles that are fiercely opposed by the spirit of this age and by our own flesh!
It is however, well worth the effort and investment, considering not only our fruitfulness in this life and our eternal rewards, but also the legacy we leave for our children and children’s children! We pray that our married friends who read these words, and those who plan to be married, will find the strength and courage to reach out to the Lord for His wisdom and grace in this high calling. 2=1 ministry offers equipping and training not only for married couples and parents, but also for those planning to marry.
We want to thank you for standing with us in this ministry. ONE NEW MAN CALL is supported by friends of the Ephesians 2:14-15 vision, calling Jew and Gentile to dwell as one in God’s Olive Tree. To learn more, to support this work, or to provide direct financial support to Messianic Believers in Israel, contact us at the address below. Thank you.
In His grace,
REUVEN AND MARY LOU DORON
(C) 2009 One New Man Call
One New Man Call
P O Box 164
Hayfield, MN 55940 USA
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Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, taken from the New King James Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org