Love, relationships & marriage are among the hottest topics for discussion.
Most of us seem to have an opinion on this.
We have an ideal of what it should like- even offer advice as though we have the handbook on the subject.
There are few things I’ve gone through harder than marriage.
It. Is. Hard.
For some it may be super easy but for me the first year was hard. The second was harder. The third- oh by then I couldn’t believe we’d made it to three years!
We teach our children many things but I don’t think we invest nearly enough in teaching and showing them what a love relationship between a man and a woman should be like. God and God alone is the Standard and ultimate authority on this.
We’ve somehow made light of marriage- we think it’s OK to “try it out”… dating has come to mean: “Do everything you would as a married couple with the “upside” that you don’t have the “bondage” of marriage”. It’s sad.
When I was getting married I was lost
My parents were splitting up. I felt my family was falling apart!
I didn’t believe in marriage anymore! I was angry and hurt.
I lashed out at God- I lashed out at myself- I lashed out at anyone who tried to remind me what marriage was supposed to be: Centred on God.
I carried such offence in my heart that it led to me getting married with mad bitterness and expectation of failure.
What young people need to know is that God is the Standard
They need to understand that there must be a willingness to submit to His will no matter the cost- They need to know that utter surrender to Him is the only way- God doesn’t ask of this for His sake- He asks it for ours. Because a marriage that is not surrendered to God will fail- if not it will be miserable- that’s a certainty.
And people, both young and old need to have the courage to walk away if the person they so madly love isn’t willing to submit and surrender to Jesus.
Love for another human being should never block out God’s voice
I know this for sure because there were times I believed with all my heart I’d heard God about men I’d loved but truth was I hadn’t heard God- it was the sound of my own desires beating so loud I couldn’t hear God’s truth. And warnings. And my heart got broken. And shattered. It wouldn’t have been that way had I chosen God’s voice and His love for me over my “in-love feelings”.
I got married believing that if my guy and I didn’t work out we could just split and go our separate ways. Don’t believe that lie. It is never ever that easy.
I’ll never forget one of my friends sitting with me, hearing my exit plan and saying, “If this is how you’re getting into this marriage then you guys shouldn’t be getting married at all!” Truer words were never spoken.
Marriage doesn’t fix what’s broken- God does that
But only if He’s given free reign to do so.
God compares marriage to His relationship with us.
Where would any of us be if Jesus had an exit plan?
Women- especially women! We sell ourselves short!
A guy gives us a bit of attention and we’re ready to give everything to him. How about giving everything to Jesus first- then see who He brings about?
It’s not just about “mutual respect”
Or having the same values or whatever else we’ve read in books and seen on Oprah.
Eat, Pray Love? Give me a massive break!
I’ve seen women bookmark that story to death- some have even called it their Bible!
Marriage is: Jesus. His Word. His Love.
It’s about Jesus. He and He alone is the authority on Marriage.
When it comes to our marriages- especially before we say ‘I do’, we need to ask: Is He the Foundation of our relationship? Is He the one breathing into this new Oneness we’re going into? Is He the Centre? Is His vision your vision- for both of You?
I grew up around brokenness
Because just about every family I ever came across as a child didn’t show me what marriage was supposed to be.
I’ve seen homes shattered and children damaged because folks put their own desires before God’s heart for them and their families.
It takes courage and faith to walk away when God says “He’s not the one.”
It takes courage and faith to walk away when God says, “Son, that’s not the woman I have for you.”
A heart surrendered to God allows His guidance when choosing the most vital human relationship we will ever have!
Often we choose for ourselves then blame God for not saving a marriage we didn’t allow Him to have a say in when we were getting into it.
A marriage that has God at the centre won’t be perfect
Because as much as we look to Jesus we still have flaws- But 2 years ago my husband and I began drinking in the ministry of Grace.
That year we both listened to Joseph Prince, every morning, and as he taught us to look to Jesus, without even looking at each other, without hours of therapy and counselling, things we’d battled with in our marriage- for years- begun to heal and resolve.
Because of that experience it’s with absolute certainty I can say There is power in the Gospel.
There is power in Jesus
And a marriage that misses this will surely miss out on the splendour we were meant to enjoy in this incredible relationship made up of a man and his wife.
Marriage was never meant to be about “sticking out”.
To me that notion speaks only of loooooong suffering.
Marriage was meant to be a POW union between a man and woman. An unstoppable force powered by the fuel of Heaven- conquering all- serving the Kingdom in massive strides and showing the children it produces that God is good. So good!
Marriage is meant to be an expression of our worship to Him
It’s meant to preach the gospel without saying a word.
It’s meant to propel in us the destinies and dreams God had in mind when He created us. That’s marriage. Not long suffering and “sticking it out”. And we all fall short. All of us. That’s why we need Jesus up in here!
Marriage counselling shouldn’t begin when young people decide to marry- it should be ingrained in our children as they grow.
I’ve seen single Mommies who couldn’t show their kids what marriage was about because they didn’t have husbands- the men had ducked!
But those Mommies went on their knees and asked Jesus to help them raise their babies- I’ve seen the testimony of children who grow up in such homes and it’s powerful. Far more powerful than folks who “stick it out” “for the children” and yet there’s no love, surrender or worship in their marriage.
Watching single Mommies, surrendered to God raise incredible Godly children who love and serve Jesus- who despite the brokenness of divorce believe in God’s plan for their lives and trust in Him for their marriages – that’s amazing! And it proves what God can do when we surrender to Him. Even when the marriages we worked so hard to keep going fail.
If the teaching and testimony we got from our own families was wrong and defunct- Jesus can still be our Standard
He will show us how to treat our husbands or wives.
Even when we fail to emulate Him as we should to our children- He will emulate Himself to our children if we’ll surrender them to Him.
Marriage is Jesus
Anything else is less than and not God’s best or His heart for us.
May we not be quick to give “politically correct” advice to friends and family that tickles their ears and justifies their choices because it “feels” right.
It’s not meant to just “feel” right.
Jesus going to the Cross had Nothing to do with how He “felt”. It had everything to do with His surrender and utter commitment to His Dad, our Father.
May we then point everyone who needs marital advice to Jesus
May we not be quick to rush to friends and family for their opinions on our own marriages but instead fall at Jesus’ feet and shout “help!”
And when all fails and the marriage we’d prayed and wept over still ends- may we remember that God still loves us utterly and completely and He will bring out good from our brokenness.
All things- ALL things work out for Good for them that Love the Lord
Our “for good” is never dependent on anyone else but God. When God is the Centre, When He is the foundation- no matter what storms come, Your house will stand. It’s not my promise- it’s God’s promise given to us by the Words of Jesus Himself.
May we raise children who are centred on Jesus. Children who will dwell in His presence- desire Him above all else and will have the faith and courage to walk away when Daddy tells them, “No, that’s not the one I have for you.”
May God be our Standard on Marriage.
Not the latest self-help guru, or some rad on TV or talk Radio- not our friends and family- not our past experiences- not opinions and surely not our feelings and emotions- may God be The Standard. Him and Him alone.