We have a heart and a passion for helping marriages. We both are amazed at how far we have come and how much healing God has brought to our own marriage. As we listen to hurting couples week after week, I have to hold back my enthusiasm and passion. I want to literally scream, “Fight FOR your marriage! It will be worth it! I promise!” We all go through painful seasons and have days when we think we cannot go on another day. The enemy has our focus on everything negative and our heart has sometimes been ripped to shreds. If God wasn’t in the equation I would say, “Give it up and go start over with someone else.”But here’s the problem, it takes two to have a problem and wherever you go, well, you go. It’s so important that each couple is willing to look at their own part in the problem. One may be 95% of the problem and one may be 5%. All you can do is work on your part. What do I mean by work on it? Go to God and say, “Open my eyes to what You want me to see about me and the way I handled this situation. What do You want me to see about where I need to change?” If both people are doing this, you really can experience a happy marriage!
Did you know that one purpose for marriage is to conform you into the image of Christ? Of course, there are many reasons for God to put two people together in Holy Matrimony. But if we don’t understand how God is using our marriage and our spouse to make us into the person HE intends us to be, we will miss a very important point! We come into the world as children thinking everything is all about us. Marriage will begin attacking that mind set right away. Did you know that you are not always right? Did you know that it is good for you to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” Did you know that sometimes we grow by giving up our right to prove our point because the relationship is more important than my point? YOU have been crucified with Christ and raised a new creation. (Romans 6, Galatians 2:20) Now we take up our cross daily. What does that mean? We die to our selfishness, to our expectations, to our ONLY way to think. Or to be fair…..it could mean to die to not standing up for yourself if your flesh is to be a doormat. It could be to value yourself if you always take the blame and believe you are always the problem.
Now here’s the most important thing I can tell you. You can’t do this! Trust me, you can’t. I tried for years and years. My marriage changed when I went to God and said, “I give up. If anything is going to come out of this marriage, YOU have to do it.” I believe God threw a party at that moment and Tim and I started on an adventure that has been going for 34 years! Will you trust God with your spouse and your marriage? Will you give it to HIM? Will you allow HIM to use it to make you into the person HE wants you to be?
Men, did you know your wife was designed to want a knight in shining armour to take care of her? It’s not our fault! Women, did you know that your husband was wired to need affirmation and respect? It’s not his fault! Men, step up to the plate and love your wife. Take care of her. Cherish her. Allow Christ to love her through you! Women, choose to see your husband through God’s eyes. Focus on what he does right. Pray for him. Ask God to be the wife through you. Affirm him! Meet his needs!
It breaks my heart to hear story after story of two people living in the same home literally ripping each other to pieces day after day. Life is too short! You have an enemy! And your spouse is not the enemy! If you can get this one truth, you will be on your way. Your enemy, the devil, hates you and hates your marriage. And he is out to destroy it. Will you stand against him and fight for your marriage through the power of God in you?
Are there some marriage that will not make it? Yes. Does that change that person’s value or significance? No. There is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. If there is abuse or unfaithfulness you must value yourself enough and say, “No more” and trust your Heavenly Father to guide you each step of the way with your next decisions. I really love what author Jeff Van Vonderen says; “Yes, God hates divorce. But He hates just as much, marriages that are being torn apart daily with hurtful words and actions”. Again, life’s too short! Jesus said, “”Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. John 14;12 Do you realize that Jesus said we can do greater works than He did when He was on earth? And He even raised someone from the dead! We CAN humble ourselves and forgive. We CAN put the other person first. We CAN be kind when we want to be mean. We CAN fall in love again. We really CAN!