by Jennie Smith
I am more convinced than ever that our enemy seeks to destroy marriages and is unfortunately succeeding in many lives. It seems that every time I look around, I hear of another marriage under attack. I have even recently walked through a dark valley in my own marriage and am coming out the other side victorious in Jesus. In our culture, there are so many things that tempt us to walk away, to give up, to go running. We get distracted with our busy-ness, our children, our sin, and even our church activities.
Dr. James Dobson gives the image of marriage as two people in a row boat. When the wind and waves come, they are thrown apart – riding the waves in the opposite directions. To keep those boats together requires intense rowing – a lot of hard work, especially considering the rough waters. Some lose strength – because of discouragement, because of disappointment, because of sin – and allow the waves to take them farther apart. Others are able to struggle in their own strength, but eventually become weary and if the marriage survives they are weather-beaten and weak. The smart ones give their row over the best Pilot and allow Him to calm the storm and lead them to safety.
This weekend I attended my cousin’s wedding reception and they provided cards to give marriage advice and greetings. I thought a long time about what to say….I’ve only been married for 15 years – and have had a bumpy few months – what could I possibly share that would have any value or worth?! All of a sudden, a verse came into my head and I paraphrased the passage for them – applying it to marriage. Here it is for all of you in a more expanded form:
If you love Jesus and if you find any benefit in your relationship with Him, if you feel any tenderness and compassion, then in your marriage, be of one spirit and mind. Keep your eyes always on Jesus. Do nothing out of selfish motives, but in humility, consider your spouse more significant than yourself. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of your spouse. Your attitude should be the same as Jesus, who although He was God, did not use that to his own advantage, but He humbled himself, and served others, even to the point of sacrificing His life for the ones He loved. You do likewise with your spouse (Philippians 2:1-7).
Isn’t that really the key after all? If both spouses take Jesus’s attitude with each other, forgive as Christ has forgiven us, extend grace and mercy with each new day…if we see them as God sees them – wearing the righteousness of Christ and use that as our motivation to pour into their lives and seek to meet their need, I firmly believe that there won’t be much room for our enemy to take a foothold. With the perfect Pilot, we can navigate those rough waters that most certainly will come our way.
What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received or given? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/faithchristianschool