The most difficult and challenging thing I have ever done in my life is to stay married. The second most difficult and challenging thing I have ever done is to have children.
Both of these life events have also been filled with extreme joy, peace and happiness as well as horrific sadness, many, many tears and the sure knowledge that if I did not have Jesus Christ in my life I would not have survived either!
In his book Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes one of the most incredible statements about marriage I have ever read:
Marriage and not just your love for each other makes you husband and wife in the sight of God and man. It is not your love which sustains the marriage, but from now on the marriage that sustains your love. God makes your marriage indissoluble. He protects it from every danger from within and without. God is joining you together; it is His act, not yours.”1
For me, it was an incredible revelation to realize that on the day my husband and I took our vows before God, we were in fact declaring that our marriage now belonged to God.
In that very moment, God, Himself, sanctified our marriage.
Sanctification is brought about through the redemptive work of Christ and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Redemption means deliverance from the enslavement of sin and release to a new freedom.
In other words, God was releasing us from our pasts as individuals and joining us together in Him.
For those of us who worry that our past behaviors, mistakes, sins will follow us into our marriages and that we will repeat the same mistakes in our marriages that we have repeated in our past relationships, take note of the following!
If we believe in Christ and have confessed any wrong behavior/attitudes to our prospective spouse and to God, and have asked forgiveness for our sins then the following words erases our negative behavior of the past and we need not fear the future.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” —2 Corinthians 5:17-19
A husband and wife can start their marriage lives together with their pasts wiped clean, and they can look forward to a future not marred by the past.
Always bear in mind that it is not your love which sustains the marriage, but “the marriage that sustains your love.”
Love is an emotion and like any emotion—joy, anger, sorrow—it tends to fluctuate.Tweet this!
There will be times when you will be disappointed in your spouse, when you will be angry and hurt, when you will think to yourself “Why did I marry him/her?”
Sometimes, the struggles and conflicts within a marriage, can continue for weeks and it is at these times that you need to remember that your marriage has been sanctified by God and that you need to continue to pray and trust that God will equip you to deal with whatever issues may arise.
Oswald Chambers said the following:
To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying ‘prayer changes me and then I change things.’ God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person‘s inner nature”.2
Every Christian marriage, where, a couple are committed to each other, enjoy each other’s company and are content within that marriage has its roots in prayer.
Prayer can make your marriage a happy one. Prayer can heal marriages. Prayer can restore marriages.
Prayer in a marriage is a very powerful thing.
1.Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Letters and Papers from Prison.
2.Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest; Selections for Every Day.
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