Good morning friends! I pray your week and weekend was good.
From September 9th to October 10th, we have three weddings to attend, as well as, the celebration of my daughter and son-in-law’s second anniversary. Weddings are so beautiful and such a memorable day. However, I am disheartened when couples are not given life-giving advice for their life ahead, or are told that ‘as long as you love each other, it’s all good’, during their ceremony. Unlike the fairy tale scene that is set on a wedding day, life is hard and dirty. Marriage can be hard and dirty. I find it so sad when the one who instituted the union of marriage is left out of the game plan. It makes it so difficult for newlyweds to find direction, support, and guidance. Soooo, it is my hope to encourage us all in our marriages and relationships, and to remember to include our Lord as an active member in our marriages, over the next couple of weeks…
Top up your coffee mug and we’ll be on our way…..
It Takes Three
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2: 20b-25
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33
I was 18 years of age when Rick proposed to me, and 19 years old when we got married. Many people who get married early in life say that they were too young, especially when they are unhappy or their marriage has ended. Being young is an easy response to explain away the turmoil. For many people, I can see what they mean, however, the reality is that at any age, marriage is not easy, and troubles will come, eventually.
Marriage is difficult. Life is difficult. Relationships are difficult, and marriage is the one relationship that God has instituted to last a lifetime. All other relationships give you the opportunity to ‘take a break’ or if you don’t see so’n’so for a few days, weeks, or years, then that’s okay. Not with marriage! You are with this person day in and day out. On our own, it is difficult to have a marriage run its full course; ‘til death do us part’. However, with God there is hope. What is important in marriage is that it is a union of three individuals: husband, wife, and God, and that everyone is an active participant in this trinity.
When God is an active part of your marriage, it doesn’t mean all the problems go away. However, it does mean that you can trust that God in His love and faithfulness is walking with you and your spouse, and willing to help resolve and guide you through issues that arise. It also means that the Holy Spirit can turn a hardened, bitter, angry heart into a healthy, forgiving, loving heart, through seeking repentance and forgiveness. So often we forget that our spouse is a sinner, and that (s)he’s going to say or do sinful things to others and against you. In the same way, you are a sinner and will say or do sinful things against your spouse. This will be a constant tool Satan uses to tempt you away from your marriage and to put barriers between you and your spouse. Be strong! Always remember that it is for these sins – yours and theirs- that Christ died, and He loves you both dearly. God knows your sin and your spouse’s sin, and only He can reconcile you both to each other. In complete honesty of each other’s strengths and weaknesses can you be each other’s helpmate; seeking and giving forgiveness when either of you have acted/spoken sinfully towards one another, always respecting each other – which means no name calling or swearing at each other in the heat of the moment, but always helping each other be the best Godly people you can be. There is no need to live in a world of fantasy or fairy tale, and don’t let Satan trick you; it’s not greener somewhere or with someone else. Life is hard, with or without a spouse, but together, you can support one another, rejoice in each other’s joys and find strength in each other in your trials and sorrows.
Just as God cares for you independently, He cares for you and your spouse and your marriage. So pray for your spouse and his/her faith and trust in the Lord; pray that God guide all the situations in your life, marriage, family life, friendships, work, health; and when situations arise, pray that God will give you and your spouse Godly feelings and words to work through arguments. There have been many times where I could not humanly see how my husband and I would resolve an argument or issue, and gave it to the Lord to give us the words and the sequence of events and the final outcome, and then waited for what I believed would need to be a miracle. Each time God provided! Follow in God’s instruction for spouses and trust Him to be active in your marriage. In Holy Matrimony, you were united with your spouse as one in God’s eyes, and together with repentance, love, and respect, your union can be one that is a blessing to each other and a witness to the world.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you have instituted the gift of marriage. Please bless all marriages. Please guide all spouses to seek you first and their role as your child in this world and to their spouse. Be with me and all the responsibilities I have today. Please guide my words and my actions. Help me to seek you first. Help me to show your love and mercy to my spouse, and to be the wife/husband you have called me to be. Also, please be with __(insert spouse’s name)_____. Help him/her in all the responsibilities (s)he has today. Help him/her to seek you first. Please guide his/her words and actions to be the person and spouse you have called him/her to be. Dear Lord, I lift my marriage up to you this day! In Jesus’ precious name, AMEN!
Reflection: Think on the things of your spouse in which God has blessed him/her. Today, share your acknowledgement and thankfulness for these gifts to your spouse. Take time to lift up to the Lord your current or future spouse. Pray for all aspects of his/her life – health, work, friendships, responsibilities but especially that the Holy Spirit enliven their Faith in Christ, wherever they are in their faith journey. Pray that God would guide him/her to be a Godly spouse and parent. Finally, pray that God guide you to be a Godly spouse and parent. Do this daily.
If you are currently not in any relationship, lift yourself and your life up to the Lord, for He knows your future. If you just haven’t met or are dating your future spouse, still pray for him/her as I have suggested above. If God has plans for you to remain single, then pray for your marriage with Him and the intimate relationship He desires to have with you in your life’s journey. In either case, pray for peace and patience of heart. Also, as you read the devotions on marriage and family, please transfer these concepts to any friendship and relationship. God’s instructions are universal and beneficial for all, in any circumstance. May God open your heart as you read and reflect on this devotion and His love for you.