And did not God make you and your wife one flesh? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why did God make you two one? Because He sought a godly offspring from your union. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth (Malachi 2:15 -Amplified).
God’s best for your marriage is that once you’re married, stay married for life. That is always God’s best. And yes, sometimes there is no alternative but divorce when one spouse chooses adultery or abuse over the relationship they have with their spouse. There are innocent victims of divorce. When a spouse chooses to sin and leaves his or her marriage partner for another, that leaves a person behind that did not want divorce to happen. And God understands the hurt and pain that brings.
But if you’re married and are just having the normal challenges of living with someone who does life differently than you, then work on the relationship! Don’t allow the enemy to pit you against your spouse just because of disagreements.
Children suffer the most when a marriage dissolves. A culture is weakened when a marriage ends. The breakdown of the family is America’s huge problem right now. Without the direct intervention of God, our beloved nation will continue to spiral downwards because of the breakdown of family life. So I urge us all to be diligent to keep our marriages strong. Be willing to weather the storms that life brings your marriage relationship. Be willing to change, to yield, and to grow.
If you’re married and you’re reading this, let me encourage you to renew your commitment to your spouse before God. Make a decision to take time daily to talk and bare your heart to one another. Good communication takes a lot of learning to put you and your wants and desires to the side and learning to listen while your spouse is talking. If necessary, be willing to go see a Christian counselor who can help you recognize harmful communication habits and can help you overcome them.
Marriage is a relationship that can potentially create great personal growth! You’re married to a person with habits, responses, thoughts, opinions, and ideas that are most probably quite unlike your own. You can learn to walk in love with your spouse when you you disagree, and that means genuinely caring about their opinions and wishes, and being kind and considerate as they relate their ideas and desires. And it means refusing to comment in anger when you don’t see eye to eye on something, and learning to defer to the other person as much as you can. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.
Susan and I have been married now for over 39 years. We’ve both been challenged so much by our own personal habits that have brought both of us frustration. But over the years we have learned to believe the best, and not be so quick to comment when we don’t get our way or when one of us does or says something that hurts or offends the other. We’ve learned to ask forgiveness and accept one another for who we are without making demands that the other change. In a healthy marriage, you learn to give the other person some slack and not to be so rigid. You learn to say things that build up your spouse’s worth, and you learn to be lovingly honest without being demanding.
I tell Susan I love her several times a day all throughout the day. We hug and kiss every time we leave home and return. We have chosen to keep our love alive. And here we are still in love after raising and putting through school and college four kids, enduring twelve times of moving, thirty seven years in ministry, and all the pressures of living in a tough world. In a lot of ways, marriage is what you choose to make it. We have chosen to fill ours with honesty, acceptance, grace, care, kindness, forgiveness, talking, laughing, crying, and a lot of give and take. I’ve grown and so has she.
We’re called to live an unselfish life. God’s goal for us is not that everything pleases us and that everything goes just the way we want it to go! His goal for us is that we mature in Christ and learn to get along with others even when the other doesn’t please us.
Guard your marriage today by praying for your spouse. Ask the Father to make you the spouse that your partner needs! Make a choice before God to do something every day to strengthen your marriage. Take time to communicate your heart.
If you’re divorced, don’t allow the enemy to condemn you. Walk in the mercy and forgiveness of God. Allow God to heal the hurts and wounds. Forgive and release the weight of anger and resentment. Expect God to guide you into His best for you right now.
The demonic assault on individuals, marriages, families, and morals is so strong these days. The family is being pulled by social pressure to fragment. But we have the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the love of God, the fruit of the spirit, and the nature of Jesus to more than compensate for the challenges of the day if we will only take advantage of them. Pray for those around you. Ask God to strengthen marriages. Call couples by name and hold them before the Father.
Guard your life and your family. Walk closely with the Lord. Watch what you allow in your eyes and ears! Refuse the social pressure to live selfishly. Be a lover. Be a giver. Be a problem solver. Be a person of integrity. Resist the pulls of the flesh and the world. Commit yourself to the Father every day to be a person that will make the world a better place to live. And let that commitment begin in your home!