Marriage in God's Hands 3
An Enduring Commitment
Most of us, husbands and wives, have entered into a marriage vow, committing ourselves that we will love, comfort, honour, cherish, etc for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health till death do us part. And these vows we solemnly promised before God and man. It is important to notice that this vow was set before God.
It’s sad when we see the rate of divorce of marriages done in Christian churches to be the same as those of the world, knowing that we have the answer to a successful marriage in Jesus. As I learn to surrender my life to Him, and allow Him to work in my heart, and through me to the other person, we will have harmony in the marriage. If we do not accept this, than we are like anyone else.
In the past marriages did not end up in divorce as easily as today. These days some write their own vows and removing some of the enduring principles of this marriage relation, and making it easier to separate if things do not work.
One of the things you can do today is to re-establish those vows, so that when difficulties come you will not consider the option of quitting the marriage. Change for the good or for the bad, physical or otherwise, should not motivate us; but we should allow Christ to change our hearts, which is the important change we should focus on.
Unless we have a biblical basis for divorce, which is clearly identified as adultery, we should not even start thinking about divorce.
There are couples we’ve counselled that thought had nothing in common. Yet these same people now are deeply in love and so thankful that they did not take the option of divorce. And even couples were an adulterous relationship took place in the marriage, have let God to heal and restore that home. Even thou we have a biblical reason for divorce, it does not mean that we should take that as the only option. We can also choose to allow Christ to heal our hearts and home. There are couples that went through very difficult situations and did not choose to give up, because of their enduring commitment; and found a rich blessing that God brings and the happiness of an unwavering love and devotion.
When each dies to self, to his/her selfishness, it is always better than expected to be, and the enduring commitment becomes possible. With God all things are possible. Tom and Alane face challenges and trials like every other couple, from outside and sometimes from inside. Yet have seen the joy of allowing Christ to work in them and keep them as one happy couple.
1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, can be experienced only with Jesus’ help. We need Him working in us – that means we need to surrender. If we are to experience an enduring commitment, we need to understand how to make 1 Corinthians 13 practical. Love bears all things – that’s an absolute. It believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. I cannot by myself generate such love. By asking God to put His love in my heart, to love so is possible. It is the daily little things that irritate us. And here is where God’s love should operate. Our human love works well when all is perfect. It is not hard to endure in such circumstances. Jesus said that without Him we can do nothing. If we pray and start working with Christ, we can have and enduring commitment.
It is helpful to identify together as a couple the week areas in the marriage, the things that cause issues, and look to strengthen those areas. One will be in trouble if he focuses on the problems of the other person, and try to change her to fit himself. We cannot change the other person. It will be more beneficial if we identify our weaknesses, rather than those of the other person, and allow Christ to change us to be what He wants us to be for our spouses. Also we should identify positive characteristics in the other person.Rather than complain that he does not spend enough time with the family, for example, try to find ways to determine him to do so. Think what you can do to encourage him to dedicate more time with the kids, such as stop complaining about what the kids do, thus attracting him to spend time with them. Ask God how you can be different, to help you identify and change you that you may be a positive influence in the family. The change that we should be willing to do is in ourselves, in our perspectives and ways of thinking. It is beneficial to renew the marriage pledge, and talk about the things that we’ve done right together.