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Some couples seem to leave their honeymoon, and continue into wedded blessedness. Oh sure, they have an argument here and there, but overall, their marital journey seems pretty straightforward and joyful.
For my dear hubby and I, this was not the case. We had a great honeymoon, in Italy no less, and I’m pretty sure the first couple of weeks thereafter were fine and dandy as we settled into a life together. However, all I can remember of the rest of that first year is loud fights, hubby sleeping on the couch, and my dashed hopes and dreams for marital bliss. It was rough. Out the window went our Christian convictions and conduct. And introduced were two selfish, angry, and broken people.
Photo credit: Kliefi via photopin cc
When God Intervenes In A Marriage
With the help of caring friends, prayer, and God’s mercy, we began to stumble through the next years making one small step of improvement at a time. It often felt as though each and every hurdle we faced in life seemed to knock us over as a couple. However, we had three things going for us; we were committed to one another, loved each other, and despite our heated spats, held firmly to a faith in God and His Word. Slowly, but surely, we made progress in our marital relationship.
And now, here we are, in our fifteenth year of marriage. We are the best of friends. We have been through so many trials, and so many joys together. We share four beautiful children, we’ve moved to the opposite side of the earth as a family, and when I think about it, I can hardly believe how far we’ve come.
A Godly Perspective for Your Marriage
How wonderful it is when you and I look back and see God’s hand upon our marriages. Clearly this is an area where God should be highly exulted and our testimony of the distance that He has brought us, loudly declared.
Yet, my dear friend, for so many years I tried to hide the state of my marriage. I would put on a joyful smile when I went to church. I would answer, “Great!” when asked how we were doing. But deep inside I was hurting so desperately.
In Mark 5:19, Jesus said to a man whom He had freed from demon possession,
“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”
The Pretence Behind A Struggling Marriage
When our Lord says to tell others about how much He has done for us, that means that you and I need to make ourselves vulnerable. It requires us to humble ourselves and admit that we were in a difficult place. That our values and beliefs did not shine through to our behaviour. That the fruit that was emanating from us towards our spouse, was anything but the fruit of the Spirit. Before we can boast in Him and in how far He has brought us in our marriages, we need to admit to the hard parts first.
As believers, we are Academy Award actors. We could get an Oscar for being radiant, shiny, happy people. Giving glory to God for what He has done in our lives often requires us taking off our masks, our facades, laying down our fear of man, and honestly sharing that we were void of peace in our relationship, but that God worked so mightily in our lives.
Sure it took years. You bet it cost tears. But it was all worth it if the King of all Creation can get the glory for where we are now!
Tests To Know Whether Your Marriage Has Improved
Have we arrived at a perfect marriage? Of course not. But there are few experiences as bonding as when we look back long enough to praise God for the large and small victories that He has brought us through. And doing so, gives us the strength, motivation and hope to continue on the path that He has laid out for us on this Earth together, as a team.
If you are struggling in your marriage, think about the areas in which, as a couple, you have progressed.
- Three years ago, you would have been so angry when your man was late, and now you are far more understanding and tolerant.
- Five years ago, it would have irritated him when you reacted in a certain way, and now he responds lovingly instead.
- Ten years ago, you would argue in the car all the way to church, blaming one another for this and that. Yet now you arrive peacefully, having overlooked the other’s faults.
You see, you have come a long way! Further than you realize. God is working in your life, and He has chosen that very man you married for you, because God knew that your specific husband would be the absolute best instrument to transform you into the image of His Son!
What are some points of progress that you recognise in your marital relationship that have come about by God’s gracious hand?