Christian Marriage 304: Stewardship

Stewardship: taking care of people, property, etc. that belong to someone else. The very definition explains why many struggle to find meaning and joy in life: we want to believe our lives belong to us.  For that reason, our stewardship is one of the best thermometers and thermostats of our relationship with God and our spouse. Consider how Christians can measure and adjust the ‘heat’ in our lives.

Think of our love for God, our spouse, and others as levels of heat: a delight in them that comforts us when the world is cold and a burning inside that fuels us to godly action for their blessing.  Therefore, how well we take care of what God has given us is a measurement of our true love. If I rarely rub my wife’s feet, bring her coffee, take her to lunch, buy her a gift that encourages her, or tell her that I’m proud of what she does well, the thermometer of my “love” may reveal my cold heart.  All those ways of caring (or the absence of them) are opportunities for stewardship of the wife God has given me.

On the other hand, if my wife tells me she has seen my fire for Christ by my delighting in His Word and prayer, taking responsibility for my selfishness, listening to her heart and following up to care for her as He describes godly love, helping our kids even when I’m tired, etc., then the thermometer of my love may reveal a heart for God and my family. But stewardship doesn’t just measure our past and present actions. It’s a God-given way to heat up our future relationship with the Lord and others.

When God created the world, He created us in His image and gave us dominion over the entire earth.  (Genesis 1:26-28) We are, therefore, stewards to rule in His image.  Consider a few applications.

God values more than just spiritual realities. He created a physical world and physical bodies for us; He dwelled among His people in a physical body (Genesis 3:8-10, 18:1ff, Exodus 24:9-11, Joshua 5:13-14, Ezekiel 1:26ff, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Philippians 2:5-11, etc.); and when Jesus returns, He will destroy this world and recreate another perfect physical world and perfect bodies and spirits for all who follow Him by faith in Him (Isaiah 65:17ff, Matthew 24:36ff, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21-22, etc.)

These truths and promises remind His people that what we do here matters. This is why Jesus said that He will bless even small kindnesses done because of the person’s love for Him. (Matthew 10:42)

God’s sovereignty (His power & right to rule for His glory) guides our stewardship.  As mere creatures, He does not expect us to serve everyone for every need in every way.  But for those who love Christ, He has given us spiritual rebirth and prepared good works for us. (Eph 2:1-10)
 When and where has He placed you to love Him and others? (Acts 17:26)
 How much time is gone, and how can you invest the rest? (Psalm 90, Eph 5:16)
 What has God given or not given each of you to love Him? (Proverbs 30:7-9)
 Describe the fruit of His Spirit in your marriage. (Gal 5:16-26, 2 Peter 1:3-11)
 How did He make spouses different to serve Him in unity? (Gen 2:15ff, Eph 5:17ff, 2 Peter 3:1ff)

 

You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.

 

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