Reignite Your Marriage

Date: February 23, 2024

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  Matthew 5:23-24


Ed and Jane didn’t quite see eye to eye.  Neither was interested in anybody else, and neither were they interested in each other.  Marriages are not all destroyed by cannon fire or shot through with infidelity.  Some simply die a slow death from a lack of interest.  When anything bothers you, everything bothers you; and as hurt and irritations piled up, their marriage eventually collapsed.

For seven years they were apart.  Neither married. Then Ed, working as a security guard at a hospital, just happened to run into Jane, who was there to visit a patient, and when they saw each other something inside clicked.  Ed began thinking that breaking up that marriage had been the wrong thing to do, and he began to remember the good times, which were a marked contrast from the loneliness he had known.

They talked, then talked again. Ed had changed pretty radically in the seven years they were apart.  During this time he really committed his life to the Lord and became active in a little chapel.  “Could we make this relationship work again?” he asked himself.  Eventually he asked Jane, and I had the privilege of remarrying the couple, who repeated the same vows they had once taken.

So this time, things are going smoothly, no problems, right?  No, there are problems in every marriage, but the resolve to make it work helps makes it work.  Reconciliation is the key to the whole issue, but why do we so fight against reconciling when anger, bitterness, or indifference has caused us to drift apart?  The short answer is ego, our stubborn refusal to swallow our pride and say, “I’m sorry, forgive me; let’s keep it together!”

Interestingly enough, four times the New Testament stresses the importance of forgiveness.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us when we come to the altar with a gift and remember a brother has something against us to “leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24).

In a story about two men who disagreed, Jesus encouraged his followers to “try hard to be reconciled” to your adversary lest you lose your case in front of the judge and get thrown into prison.

Writing to the Corinthians, Paul encouraged all of God’s people to “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Question: Who and what causes divisions and separations?  God? Never.  In the Garden of Eden, Satan first tried to get back at God by driving a wedge between Adam and Eve, and he’s never stopped trying.  It is never God who causes two friends to become enemies, or a husband and wife to separate, or causes young people to turn their back on God and their parents and go the other way.

God’s spirit brings reconciliation, healing, and restoration, so before you allow a fit of temper to drive a wedge between you and your best friend or you and God, better check yourself and say, “This is not what God wants, nor is it what I want, either.”

When we turn our backs and walk away from friendship, love, and trust because we have been hurt, our loss is only compounded by the loneliness and pain that follow.  We become two-time losers.

Saying, “I care too much about our relationship to let this drive a wedge between us,” puts you on the path to reconciliation.  Remember, it was reconciliation that Jesus had in mind when He left heaven and came to earth – that we might be reconciled to God.

Resource reading: 2 Corinthians 5.