Sanctification is the “gracious operation of the Holy Spirit, involving our responsible participation, by which he delivers us from the pollution of sin, renews our entire nature according to the image of God, and enables us to live lives that are pleasing to him.” It is the process whereby we are renewed according to the image of God, conformed to the image of Christ, and enabled to die to ourselves and live to God.
So, all weekend God has been bringing the word sanctification to my mind and heart. Not only does this apply to our spiritual lives–but we can apply this to our marriages. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6: 6
There are many that believe that once a Christian we no longer are suppose to sin, but sin is always crouching at our door, and wants to devour us….devour our marriages, our friendships, our family..anything that has unity, the enemy wants to break up. The enemy does not want peace, he only wants destruction, confusion, and deception. But Christ wants the complete opposite for our marriages–persevere through disagreements, patience with one another, honesty, unity….
I say all of this to reassure you that it is completely normal for each spouse to bring in their own hidden sins that may have once controlled their life (and still control their life)…as there are many worldly passions that can get us tangled up in, I am just going to use sexual sin as an example, because as much as people may not admit they struggle with pornography, lusting over the opposite sex (i am not saying that only men struggle with this), masturbation, and adultery to name a few…
Romans 6:18 tells us some powerful truth…”flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. THEREFOR HONOR GOD WITH YOUR BODY.”
How does sanctification tie into all of this you ask….God doesn’t spoon feed us–He wants us to fight and rely on Him to help us. What a beautiful picture we as husband and wife get to display when we are to represent the Church and Christ.
- When we are weak, He is strong. When your spouse is weak, be strong, stand by their side. Fight for them by praying for them, pray. pray. pray.
- When we are tempted, flee from sin. When we are tempted to commit sin against God, we not only hurt our relationship with Christ–but we only separate ourself further from our spouse.
” We can choose to remove God from the picture, but our need for love and intimacy still remains. Without God to guide us and provide for those desires, we confuse sex with love. We long to be loved, we long to know that we matter someone else, and something tells us that engaging is sex will accomplish what we want.” Tim Gardner So, attempting to find our own solution to what will fill this hole in our hearts, we engage in sex outside of God’s boundaries. And pain and destruction follow. Lets get back on focus–Sanctification is the “gracious operation of the Holy Spirit, involving our responsible participation, by which he delivers us from the pollution of sin, renews our entire nature according to the image of God, and enables us to live lives that are pleasing to him.” It is the process whereby we are renewed according to the image of God, conformed to the image of Christ, and enabled to die to ourselves and live to God.
When we think we can not overcome sin–do no give up. it is process. But, we can not be renewed, if we do not seek help. If your spouse truly loves you, this will only draw you closer to one another, as you fight together and fight for one another–instead of fighting with one another.
How can I be praying for your marriage?
Anna Pociask, MA