I KNOW there are exceptions to every rule. I know people have suffered abuse, infidelity and being married to unbelievers who refuse to change. I know there are some who will read this and ask why should I fight for a marriage where it was dangerous to be in, or stay married to a spouse who continues to be unfaithful and has no desire to be married anymore. Please understand I am not writing this post to you. If there are points that might be too painful for you, just skip over this particular post. Or instead, use it to give you ideas on what to pray for in your next spouse. God is a loving forgiving God and it doesn't mean you can't find that true love marriage that lasts forever in the future!
It seems like more and more lately, marriages all around us are falling apart. I would like to just say it's in the military, but it's not. Its also Christian couples who are not getting the proper counsel/encouragement they need and are instead focusing on self and what feels good to them at that point. Every time I hear of another break up my first instinct is to shake both parties and scream at them. I don't get it, get over yourselves, its not all about you. Fight for it, (you'll hear that term often from me,) do whatever it takes to make it work!)
Well unfortunately, I am not always the most eloquent speaker and don't always have peoples feeling in mind... So I just keep my mouth shut, shake my head, feel helpless and watch another marriage join the ever so high divorce rate.
I hate it.
You hear the excuses:
I just don't love them anymore.
We got married for the wrong reasons.
We don't have anything in common anymore.
He/She likes to hang out with their friends more than me.
Its just too hard.
You don't know what its like, you have a great marriage. (My personal fave....it irritates me, how can you just automatically assume because people have been married a long time or seem to love each other, that they haven't gone through some really tough times or challenges...)
Needless to say, I have become more passionate about marriages. I think especially because God uses marriage as an example of the relationship between Christ and the church, I feel it is SO important to work on your marriage, strengthen, and fight for it! It is the foundation for so much; Your relationship with your children and so much of your every day life as an example.
Our pastor started a marriage series in January on Sunday mornings and the four week course ended this past Sunday, with a mini conference coming up this weekend. It has all just solidified my longing to encourage couples in their relationship challenges and to encourage single people to look for a best friend to marry, not someone where the relationship is solely physical and based off of lust/infatuation. I can tell you right now, when that husband/wife is 30 pounds heavier and hasn't had some TLC in many months, sometimes all you have is your friendship and faith!
My husband likes to say if someone is going to cheat, they're going to cheat. While in a way I agree with him, I also believe there are ways you can affair proof your marriage.
First of all, don't always assume that your spouse would never cheat on you or put you yourself in circumstances that could raise a red flag. Don't put yourself in a situation where you are with another man/woman where it seems to be an innocent friendship.
Do you know why the infidelity rate is so high among counselors or pastors?? They spend A LOT of alone time with members of the opposite sex. They share intimate conversations and before long friendships suddenly turn into feelings and relationships even if not meant in the first place.
Learn to strengthen your friendship and mutual interests with your spouse and learn to pray for one another. Satan is everywhere which means temptation will be everywhere.
-Your spouse needs to be the #1 relationship in your life; not your parents, friends or even children.
-The actions of love will lead you to the emotions of love, (if you feel you have fallen out of love with your spouse, start working on acting like you love them.)
-A covenant marriage (covenant = promise) is based off the promise YOU made to God; not how your spouse acts. (example: but my spouse is not doing their part so why should I?) You do your part as in fulfilling your promise to God.
"And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God's word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.
No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of His body. As the scriptures say, as a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." -(Ephesians 5:21-33)
Happy Valentines Day!! Whether you and your spouse celebrate it, or whether or not you are single, someone out there needs a little extra loving today!!
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."-Ephesians 5:1