Monday, January 28, 2013

Commitment in a Christian Marriage

As I mentioned yesterday, Hubby and I have a rather unusual "story."  We never dated, skipping ahead from friendship straight to engagement.  Our marriage is truly one that is based upon the knowledge that God led us together and this has always been the bedrock of our marriage.

At the time that we met, we were attending a church which preached rather actively against today's dating culture.  Instead, young singles were encouraged to seek God's guidance with regards to a marriage partner.  This teaching was called "Perfect Choice," believing that God's choice would, indeed, be the perfect choice for you.

(Please note that I have no problems with dating between Christians.  Each person needs to do what is best for them and whatever they feel that the Lord is leading them to do.  However, I do believe that in today's society, the way that dating often is handled leads to needless heartache and a "let's try each other out" mentality which often carries over into marriage.  But between two mature, godly Christians of course God can work in any way He chooses.)

Given the fact that Hubby and I hadn't dated and hadn't really even spent much, if any time alone together prior to our engagement, it was only natural that we didn't have the opportunity to learn exactly how opposite we are from one another.  While I'm a huge extrovert, he's much more of an introvert.  He's a total germaphobe, whereas I am normal take a more laid-back approach.  I'm a yeller; he goes quiet when he's upset.  He wants to keep everything.  I throw things out and purge every opportunity I get.  We are from two radically different cultures as well and that throws a whole other box of wrenches into the equation.

In those early days of marriage, there were many fights and misunderstandings and arguments.  Many times when I would throw something and go storming out of the house.  But even in our hurt and our pain, we had one shining light that kept up from giving up on each other.

We knew that God had put us together.  And, even more importantly, we knew that God doesn't make mistakes.  Ever.

If God joined us, we could trust thoroughly that He had a purpose for that.  That He knew all of our ins and outs, our issues and our conflicts.  And, yet, He still chose for us to be husband and wife.  To be the foundation of a family.  To be lovers, friends, co-parents.  Yes, there would be rough edges to be smoothed over time.  Yes, it would be hard.  Yes, some of those struggles continue to this day, twenty years into marriage.

I haven't mentioned the most exciting (in my mind anyways) part of the "Perfect Choice" philosophy.  While, yes, it's a very novel idea of not dating before marriage, to me the truly beautiful part of the "doctrine" was that if you had married someone that wasn't necessarily led by God, the amazing thing is is that your spouse now becomes your perfect choice.  God does a miraculous work.  God hates divorce and so therefore is thoroughly invested in blessing your marriage and seeing it thrive. You can count on the fact that, once you are married, God has a purpose for your marriage and wants it to succeed and bring honor to Him.

I offer you hope here today.  Know that God wants your marriage to succeed.  Know that the man that you are married to is God's perfect choice for you.  Divorce is not the answer.*  Working through the problems, clinging to God when the going gets rough, and celebrating the good times - that's all part of the answer.  If you ever feel that you married the wrong person, take heart! Know that God works through all things to bring glory to Himself and nothing you could ever do would surprise Him.

God will and can give you all that you need to prosper and thrive in your marriage.  He can heal the broken hearted, bring forgiveness in place of bitterness and anger, and make it into a beautiful representation of what marriage is supposed to be, a living picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride - the church.

* I know that some women are in abusive situations and I firmly believe that God would never want them to be in that situation.  I urge you if you find yourself in such a relationship to seek out wise counsel and to not allow yourself or your children to be placed in danger.


Denise said...

Nice post.

Beth said...

I'm one who has tested God's ability to redeem what seemed lost in my own marriage. Thanks for encouraging all of us to lean on God's strength to get us through, Lori.

Constance said...

Thanks for sharing from your heart. I am not familiar with what you described but no one is too far from the hand of God. I have seen it over and over, hearts ransomed and lives re-directed. Unfortunately our culture today stresses self, way too much. It tells us we deserve to be happy and to look out for our own interests (ironically the Bible tells us to place others before us) because no one else will.

Once the bloom is off the rose and all you see are thorns, people forget that that very same bush with attention and nurturing blooms and flourishes once again!


Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. This stood out to me the most: ...what marriage is supposed to be, a living picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride - the church.
How easily we forget that essential Truth. Amen and Amen.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Lori.

Blessings! e-Mom ღ

Tami Boesiger said...

God doesn't make mistakes. Amen, sister! So glad you have found the journey worth the pain. I think marriage helps us learn how to love unselfishly (although this does hurt!).

Julie Arduini said...

I'm late reading the Marriage Monday posts, but I love what you said about how God doesn't make mistakes--ever. So true. Great post!


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