Relying on Jesus Christ to Strengthen our Marriages – Part 2

2 12 2008

As promised, I want to conclude our discussion of creating more harmony and unity in our homes.  If you are just tuning in, I recommend that you read my last post.  To conclude this topic, I will discuss here how we must have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and rely upon the Atonement to harvest greater marital unity.  I will first discuss the purpose of the Atonement and then touch on four points of how the Atonement can strengthen the unity in our marriages. (This same discussion will also be applicable to finding strength in a variety of struggles in our life.)

The Atonement


The Atonement of Jesus Christ comprises three major events that concluded His life on this Earth.  It began with His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He took upon Him our sins, weaknesses, and physical ailments and sweat great drops 

of blood (Luke 22:39-44).  The Atonement continued with Jesus’ crucifixion (Luke22:33-49) and finally concluded three long days later with the beautiful morning of the resurrection, where Christ’s spirit had taken up His body never to be separated again (Luke 24).  Through this Atonement everyone that has ever lived on this Earth will also be resurrected and all those who accept Jesus as their Savior and who demonstrates Faith in him through obeying His word will find eternal life, a life in paradise with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Point One: Finding Strength through Grace

In our previous discussion I quoted Jesus’ intercessory prayer found in the Gospel of John.  I would like to draw your attention to what is taught in verse 22, Jesus prayed, “ And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:22).

What is this “glory” that was given to Christ by the Father and Christ is in turn giving to us so that we may be one, or in other words, unified?  I believe it is Grace offered to mankind through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

The word ‘grace’ as used in the New Testament is to mean a “divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.”  This divine help or strength can be accessed “through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of [our] sins,” by this we can “receive strength and assistance to do good works that [we] otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to [our] own means” (Bible Dictionary).

Through cultivating faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, obeying His word, studying the scriptures, and supplicating our Heavenly Father through prayer, we will qualify for the Grace of Jesus Christ.  Through this Grace, we will be given divine assistance to change our bad habits or tendencies to be selfish, frustrated, angered, prideful, thoughtless, and contentious, all of which weaken our marriage.  We will be given power from on high to become more Christ like, which will create greater unity in our home.

Point Two: An Example of Selfless Sacrifice

                The Atonement is the perfect example of the selfless sacrifice required for a successful and happy marriage.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this Earth and led a perfect life, without sin.  Despite the perfection Jesus obtained in this life, Jesus paid the penalties for the sins of all mankind.  Think about that!  The only man ever to cross the face of this Earth without sin suffered the penalties of all who has ever sinned so they can return and live with God as if they had lived the perfect life!

                If we could approach our marriages with the same level of selfless service that Christ approached each one of us with, think of how much happier we would be and how much more unified we would be with our spouse.  We would no longer be burdened with our own personal trouble; we would only care about serving and making our spouse happy.  Think of the harmony that would prevail in the home and the new excitement as you look for creative ways to surprise your spouse.  Think of the look on your spouse’s face as they are surprised time and time again by acts to sercice or expressions of love rendered by you. By doing this we would become more like our Savior, our spouses will be encouraged to do the same by our example, each spouse will draw closer to Christ, and there will be more unity in our homes.

Point Three: Seeking Forgiveness

                In our lives we all make mistakes and we all sin; when we sin we offend those around us and we offend God.  This offence distances us from God and from our loved ones and fosters a spirit of disunity and eliminating any spirit of peace.

                Nephi, a righteous prophet in the ancient Americas, lamented over his past mistakes and said “And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?  Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul” (2 Ne. 4:27-28).

                Sin weighs us down; only through faith in The Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance can this weight be lifted.  Repentance is a process of removing the estrangement between yourself and God and forsaking your sins.  Relying on the Atonement in this way is to reestablish unity; if you break the word Atonement into its English components you get the phrase “At One Ment.”  The Atonement is the ultimate unifier in life, it makes it possible to be “At one” with God and your loved ones; it restores peace and unity in your home if you repent and seek forgiveness.


Point Four: Forgiving

Lastly, in our marriages we will not only have the opportunity to seek forgiveness for our mistakes, but we will also have the opportunity to forgive one another.  There is little that is more damaging to a mirage than one spouse refusing to forgive the other of a mistake or even saying they forgive the other when they really haven’t.  Not forgiving one another in marriage takes a wound in the relationship and rips it open further.  Ultimately the destiny of a couple who does not forgive each other is divorce because we all make mistakes and not forgiving fosters resentment which leads to hate and mistrust.

                Forgiving and being forgiven restores unity in the home, invites the Spirit of peace into your life, and is a part of the rocky road of drawing closer to Jesus Christ.  Finding forgiveness of our sins is inseparable from forgiving others.  Jesus taught “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mat. 6:14-15).

                I know that Christ is our Lord and our Savior. Only through His Atonement can we return to our Father in Heaven and only through His Atonement can we find peace and unity in our lives and relationships.