Marriage is a fun, difficult, exciting, and soul-searching gift that most people on Earth experience at some point. However, many don't make it through to the end. Sadly, divorce is rampant across the world and in the church. Marriages crumble under the weight of selfishness, bitterness, pride, betrayal, hurt, and lack of transparency. But marriage also flourishes under the opposite of our human nature; selflessness, forgiveness, humility, faithfulness, kindness, and honesty are the keys to a good marriage.
The first week of marriage in this series I shared with you what I learned in my own first year of marriage. Last week I shared how to navigate conflict because this can be a game changer for any relationship. This week I conclude a look into marriage and the series by encouraging every single one of you that is married.
Marriage is hard! It exposes an ugly side of you. It challenges your wants and desires. But it can also be beautiful, comforting, sweet, and adventurous. Where we spend most of our time depends, though.
As it is with anything on Earth, without Jesus central, all is in vain. Without God in control, it's harder, less successful, and not nearly as beneficial for you or anyone else. Everything, and especially marriage, must keep God smack dab in the middle. The moments we lean on ourself because the moments we will regret.
If you're married right now and all is well, that's great! There are certainly seasons in marriage that are easier than others. However, it doesn't mean you should rely on God any less. If your marriage is in one of those tougher seasons right now, it doesn't always have to be that way. As with any season, it will change. However, let it change for good.
Remember why you chose that person. Look back on your journey together and how the good was great and the hard was overcomed together. Remind yourself of the covenant you made. The Bible says that God hates divorce. It breaks His heart to see what was meant as a picture of Christ and the Church--what was meant to be a great blessing and gift to you--to be broken in this way. He desires for your marriage to be lasting, fruitful, and good!
I know it can be hard. But I also know it's worth it to pursue it to the end of your life. My husband and I went through some things in the five years we were dating that most couples don't go through until years into marriage. We've seen and been through more than you can imagine. But we also persevered and overcome those challenging seasons. How? By relying on God!
Your tendency may be to try and "fix" or correct your spouse. It might be your current endeavor to make them into a certain kind of person. Maybe your pride won't let you back down because they're in the wrong or they hurt you. Honestly, the list could go on! BUT, all can be forgiven. All can be worked through. All can be overcomed. All can...in Jesus. Ecclesiastes 4 says that a chord of three strands cannot easily be broken!
If you're struggling right now, turn to God. Focus on your relationship with Him and how you can grow both personally and as a spouse. Pray for your husband or wife and ask God to work mightily in your marriage. Show forgiveness, kindness, and humility to the person that you love.
I've watched couples go through adultery, lying, betrayal, and hurt, work through the season, and come out on the other end loving each other more than they ever imagined they could. I've gone through it. You can get to that place as well! You and your spouse can get through this current season and make it to a place better than you ever thought possible. Don't give up--be all in!
Song of Solomon 8:6-7,
Here are some resources that might be helpful:
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler