Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church––for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery––but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
—Ephesians 5:25-33 (NIV)
God wants you to have a happy marriage! Marriage was intended to be a blessing and a reward in this life. It is a powerful, incredible, and fun partnership. Marriage was not created to be a burden, inconvenience, or source of pain––and when we do it God’s way, it’s not!
You and your spouse were created to complete each other. You are a team and were not made to compete with but to complete each other. God wants to bless your marriage with great joy and satisfaction as you walk through life together. Realizing this helps us honor each other’s needs and differences.
God has a special plan for your marriage.
God’s plan for your marriage isn’t just to say “I do” and then spend the rest of your life going your own way, living like roommates. He has a specific purpose for joining you and your spouse. Your marriage is a relationship that models the plan of salvation to all the world. The husband is instructed to lay down his life for his wife just as Christ laid down His life for our salvation. The wife is to revere (respect, admire, and praise) her husband. She submits in love to his leadership just as the church of Jesus Christ is to respond to Him with praise and submission to His lordship.
If you have rejected the Lord’s plan for you and your marriage in the past, it is never too late to reclaim His plan! Turn your life and marriage over to God. He designed it; He can fix it!
Your Enemy Is Not Your Spouse
“I’m so tired of cleaning up after you!”
“You overspent again!”
“You never make time for me!”
How many times have you said things like that to your spouse, or wanted to say them? How often do you allow yourself to get into a pattern of bickering with your spouse over things like money, household responsibilities, how often you talk to your mother, how often you have sex, or other issues?
If you’ve ever fallen into a pattern of bickering with your spouse, you know how easy it is to stay there. And that’s just what the enemy wants.
He knows that if he can keep you fighting over who spends more money, the dirty laundry, the messy house, or anything else, then he can keep you out of unity and away from your inheritance in the Kingdom of God. The enemy’s greatest goal is to divide and conquer, and too often, we let him in our marriages.
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.
—Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
Your spouse is not your enemy! Our enemy is not flesh and blood but the rulers of the darkness of this world. Why do we forget that? Why are we willing to practically wage war with the person we’re supposed to love most over the most insignificant things? Are the petty things like him not emptying the trash or her buying that extra pair of earrings really worth you missing out on the promises of God? No!
Satan’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy God’s plan for you.
God created marriage between one man and one woman. It’s His plan. Therefore, it should not surprise you that the enemy, Satan, wants to destroy marriages and the family unit. Your problem is not your spouse.
Yes, your spouse was created differently than you were and has many needs and viewpoints that are different from your own that can occasionally cause misunderstandings or conflict. But Satan, our enemy and the enemy of God, lies to people, which causes them to think that the problem is with their spouse.
Don’t fall victim to the lies Satan tells you about your spouse! Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee!
Restoring a Broken Relationship
There are several common lies Satan uses to destroy your relationship:
- It’s too late to change my marriage.
- If I could marry someone else, then I’d be happy.
- I made a mistake and married the wrong person.
- I’ve been hurt too much to ever be able to forgive my spouse.
- Adultery has already destroyed my marriage. There is no hope for us.
- My spouse will never change because he/she doesn’t know God.
Here are the truths about your marriage:
Jesus wants to heal and change marriages. God says He hates divorce. Through Jesus, God’s original plan for marriage was restored. God cares about your marriage, and He came to give you an abundant life and marriage. John 10:10 (NIV) says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
God wants to make someone new out of you and give your marriage a fresh start. He can make all things new. Divorce is not the solution. A new relationship brings its own set of problems; and if you don’t grow, you will only duplicate the same problems wherever you go. Even if the circumstances surrounding your marriage were not right before God, He still honors your marriage. You must also commit to honoring it for the relationship to succeed.
Jesus can heal your heart. Broken hearts are real, but Jesus can heal any broken heart. Ask God to heal the hurt, restore the relationship, and give you a new love for your spouse. Ask Him to heal your heart.
Forgiveness opens the door to restoration. Adultery is a very serious and hurtful violation of the marriage covenant, but God can bring healing and restoration to any fallen relationship. Often, the restored relationship is stronger than the marriage ever was before the offense. Choose forgiveness.
Love your spouse. People respond to love, not criticism. Although your spouse may not be a Christian today, that doesn’t mean that he or she will not make a decision for Christ at some point in the future. Love your spouse with God’s love so that he/she may come to know Christ. Love your spouse as unto the Lord, and He will give you His grace and wisdom to succeed.
If you need healing for a broken relationship, pray this prayer for today:
Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I can’t live my life on my own. I need Your help and guidance, and I ask You to take over my life and my marriage. Help me to be the spouse you want me to be. Forgive me for the mistakes I have made, and restore my marriage. Show me what I need to do to make things right in my marriage. I forgive ________ for hurting me. I release all the hurt and anger I have experienced because of his/her decisions and actions. Because You have forgiven me for my mistakes, I know You can give me the power to forgive my spouse and others who have hurt me. I thank you, Father, for making the difference in our marriage. Show us Your plan for our relationship. Amen!
God wants you to have an amazing marriage. Marriage was intended to be a blessing and reward in this life. Check out my Mystery of Marriage series!
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