It’s an age old question: fight or flight. When you’re feeling threatened, do you stand your ground and fight or do you retreat? Might I suggest that neither is the best answer?
We’ve already established that our marriages are a picture of Christ and the church, so let’s look at what Jesus says about our relationship to Him and then see what light it can shed on our marriages.
In John 15, Jesus uses metaphor to define our relationship to Him and how we are to interact with him. He says He is the vine and we are the branches. Our job is to abide in him. It means to remain, to tarry, to stay present. Verse five tells us that if we abide, we will bear fruit. To bear means to carry a burden, to uphold, to bring forth. We do not produce the fruit, Christ does. We are just allowed to be the vehicle through which God delivers his bountiful fruit to the world.
He tells us these things so that we can have joy (verse 11). All this happens in order that the Father be glorified (verse 8). If we abide, we will bear fruit. It will bring us joy and God glory. And it’s all couched in love. The word abide is used 10 times in this passage, bear, 7 times, and love 9.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” ~John 15:16-17.
So what does this mean to a godly marriage? It means when the going gets tough, the tough abides. It will bring joy to us and glory to God. When it’s tough and you feel threatened, there’s no need to fight for your way or run away. The answer is in clinging to our source, abiding and bearing in the midst of our love for one another.