Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

(This post has been brewing in my head for a while now. My thoughts are based on my pastor’s talk on Sunday and Love and War by John & Stasi Eldredge).

Can I tell you a secret about marriage? Marriage is hard. It is probably something you have heard before, but didn’t quite believe because you were sure your relationship would be different. You believed you were truly in love and had met your soul mate so it would just not be the case.

Actually, it is vital that you are sure about who you marry because marriage is hard. It is. Garth is my best friend. My soul mate. The love of my life. But guess what? Marriage is still hard.

Why? You ask. Because of three very real factors that make life and marriage extremely difficult.

1.    Sin. Romans 5:12 says “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”

2.   Satan. Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In John 10:10 Jesus warns “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." 

3.  Self. Galatians 5:17 says “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

You may be rolling your eyes at me and that’s fine. I get it. I know these aren’t things you love to talk about, but you cannot ignore them. Satan hates a happy marriage and will do anything to destroy it. You must be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” That is frightening, right? How can you be self-controlled and alert if you are not even expecting it?

I have heard about one too many "harmless" situations turned into so much more. Lunch out with a friend of the opposite sex turns into an affair. Watching porn turns into going to a strip club and then turns to prostitutes. Love turns into just a feeling and one is no longer in love anymore and leaves the marriage . I’m not making this stuff up. This has happen to people from my church. God fearing people. The devil is looking for opportunities to separate what God has made one. “The god (Satan) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4.

It’s not just Satan. Our sinful nature and our own self get in the way. We have our own desires and often they become expectations if we are not careful. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory so it is bound to happen that we hurt our spouse. We are two flawed people with our own wants, needs, and desired called to love each other and put each other ahead of our own needs. Of course that is hard. Marriage is hard.

The good news is it can be a beautiful thing. Putting your spouse first, dying to self, and offering grace can lead to an intimacy you never imagined. A love so unconditional you get a glimpse of what God’s love is like. Garth and I aren’t perfect. Our marriage isn’t perfect. But when we are weak, He is strong.

Marriage is hard. Life is hard. But God knew that. That is why Jesus said “ I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Jesus didn’t say IF you have trouble in this world. He said we WILL have trouble. But my God has overcome the world so what shall I fear?

I would encourage you to be on guard. Protect your marriage. Pray together and for each other. Read a book together like Love& War,  For Men Only and For Women Only by Shaunti & Jeff Feldhan, or Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. I also highly recommend iMarriage by Andy Stanely.


Mrs. Newlywed Giggles said...

Marriage is freaking hard. I think people are stupid to walk around and think that it isn't it and that they don't have to work hard at it EVERY DAY.

A shame that's why so many marriages fail.

Great post.

Anne said...

awesome post. so true

Lauren said...

this is such a great post! thanks for the reminder that Satan isn't worried about the crappy marriages, it's the strong ones that he's going to attack...we must take every effort we can to safeguard against him!

Capri Barnes said...

I marriage is awesome, I've heard his second falling in loves ways, staying n love takes courage, r something similarly titled by Andy Stanley... Realistically I know and understand my marriage won't be easy nor will I envision all future plans as a dream weaver, but recognizing the flaws and fairs of life at a glance, shows what god wants us to pursue in marriage, I love reading your blog.