In Fervent as discussed in Strategy 4, Priscilla talks about how family and more specifically marriage is designed to be a witness to others of our relationship with God. She says, “It’s not a perfect representation, of course, since the best marriage we can possibly make on earth still involves a pair of fallen, broken people. But in its deepest sense, at its deepest level, this primary human relationship between husband and wife is meant to be a living witness to others of the love of Christ for His church.” p76
Marriage is hard.
For most people it isn’t the house with a white-picket fence, 2 kids and a dog (who doesn’t shed or bark or bite) picture of perfection that we may have grown up believing was out there for us.
It is long hours, sick kids, arguments and hurt feelings, past baggage that has shaped how we act/interact with others…the reality is, for most, that marriage can be a lot more work than we anticipated. The lovey-dovey feelings that happen in courtship are assaulted with the reality of life. And it isn’t always pretty.
The early years of our marriage, as I have shared here before, were difficult. We were (and still sometimes are) two selfish people. We didn’t honor Ephesians 5: 21-33. We didn’t work on loving and respecting one another as called to by God. We both wanted our own needs met first and it brought conflict and strife to our home.
The only witness we were during those years was how NOT to do marriage successfully!
But God was there…and through different people and circumstances we slowly found our way back to a Bible believing/preaching church. A relationship with God began, we saw the need for some changes in ourselves and started working on understanding our own personal character defects. We asked God to remove them and fill us with a desire to be a light to others.
When you pray for God to use you, He will.
We should not be put on a pedestal though. We don’t have it all figured out. We continue to make mistakes, we always will. But we recognize the higher calling we have. To treat one another as called to by Christ.
And let me be clear, I can’t walk in that calling without the constant daily help of God. I am a broken sinner. Selfish and self-centered to the core. So often my first thought is what’s in it for me? Sad but true! But I recognize that I am a better person when I spend time in prayer for my husband. It is hard to point fingers at someone and bless them in prayer at the same time.
A few years ago I came across a website and this printable that talked about how to pray for your husband from head to toe. It was a tangible way that I was able to cover Dominic in prayer each morning while I got ready. A reminder that he needed covering too, and this was one way I could lift him up.
Marriage is hard, yes. But if we bring everything in our marriage to the feet of God and ask for His guidance and direction…He will lead us on the right path. And by doing so you are able to be a witness to others around you.
I share some of our struggles here because I want to keep things real. It isn’t always sunshine and roses, and that’s ok. Because of God’s incredible redemptive power He has healed broken places in our hearts and home. I believe in His saving grace because I have witnessed it in my own life.
I will probably say it every day this month…the enemy wants you broken. He wants unforgiveness to rein in your home. And the only defense we have is to fight back in prayer. Pray that God would restore the hurt and broken. Pray daily for your spouse and your kids. Pray for love and respect to override selfishness. Just pray and watch what God can and will do!
And when you have? Tell someone. Don’t do it to brag on all you’ve done. No, share the truth with someone who is hurting. Give them hope. Be that witness to the power of God in your life. It is our calling!
Lord, we thank you for marriages. We know that it isn’t always easy and so often our selfish pride gets in the way of Your work. We bring our marriages to You Lord. You are the God that restores. Heal the broken places, and then give us courage to be a witness of that redemption to others that are hurting. Thank you for giving us You Word that we might discover your design for marriage. May we be challenged to study your ways and walk in them daily. In Jesus Name, Amen.