A Resurrected Marriage Story Day 1: Calm Before the Storm
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18, ESV)
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33, ESV)
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8, ESV)
Marriage. A gift and a treasure given to us by God. When He placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, His plan all along was for Adam to have a helper. As Adam saw each of the animals he named, he noticed something: they all had mates, yet he did not. God allowed him to see his need so that his heart would appreciate the gift he was about to receive in Eve. Then, when God presented her to Adam, his heart and his flesh responded with holy appreciation for this treasure of his own flesh. Marriage was God’s idea, and it is something to take seriously and to greatly value.
On a warm, sunny June morning, I walked down the aisle toward the man of my dreams. We had been friends for over a decade, and on this day, our relationship took a new turn: we made a covenant promise before God and our family and friends to love, honor and commit ourselves to one another for the rest of our days. And as we walked back up that aisle with our young hands clasped together, we believed we would live happily ever after. I think that most of us, on our wedding day, are naïve in our understanding of how hard marriage can actually be. Yes, it is wonderful, but it’s a relationship that requires a lot of selflessness and being intentional.
The next 24 ½ years were filled with living life. We had dreams, and we saw many of them become a reality. We were a team, working and raising kids, and always coming together at day’s end to rest in the stillness of our home—together. We deeply loved one another and never thought our story would have such a dramatic twist. We were busy and helpful in our local church, serving and enjoying fellowship with those with whom we worshipped. We were doing life, oblivious to the fact that Satan had been setting the stage for our downfall.
I don’t mean to scare anyone, but if you’re married, Satan will target your marriage. Your marriage isn’t foolproof, and we are all capable of falling. I don’t think I fully grasped this for most of my life, so it’s a message I want to make sure toa share with any who will listen. In my world, it was always someone else’s story; it couldn’t possibly happen to us. That mindset is extremely naïve and a dangerous one for a believer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married 6 months or 50 years—your marriage is a target. So be prepared.
Why would Satan care to destroy a Christian marriage? you may wonder. Marriage is a picture of the love of Christ and His bride, the Church. When he destroys this imagery for your marriage, he succeeds in messing up your marriage purpose. And when he can destroy a marriage, the downfall is far-reaching, damaging many and instilling fear, doubt and bitterness in believers. These characteristics often lead to spiritual ruin and relational breeches that tear families apart. When these get a hold of us, we often abandon our spiritual purpose. In short, tearing marriages apart satisfies Satan’s real desire to ruin people—especially God’s people.
As we move through this deeply personal study, I pray that our story will be a catalyst to point others to our Redeemer—Jesus Christ. Our story isn’t shared to put information out there for those curious about the details of our lives, but so that God would use it in ways we may not understand on this side of eternity. This has been our own journey, and we are passionate about sharing it for a few reasons. First, realize this story could be your own, so take action each day to guard your marriage. Second, if your marriage is in trouble, you are not alone. Third, find someone to talk to who will give you godly counsel. And finally, remember that your marriage is something you share with One who has great power over Satan’s best attacks against you; God is able in any situation to rescue and restore. He cares about marriages—specifically yours. I find that to be precious, don’t you?