Have you ever witnessed two wrestlers tag out or into the ring? When one tires or gets injured, the other comes in to keep fighting toward victory.
My husband, Gary, and I have been a tag team for over 38 years. It is commonly said marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100. There are times when tougher problems arise; we must give more than humanly possible in our spouse’s place. That could be 150 percent or even 200 percent!
This is only possible by grace.
When we face a challenge that’s greater than us, God’s power in our spouse helps us keep up the fight when we cannot do it alone.
We all experience those times. There is great comfort in relying on God and our partner to “tag in” when we have been knocked down! The grace of God comes through with help in times of trouble. A three-strand cord is not easily broken!
“And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (CSB).
Gary and I have had times of weakness in a battle where the other person carried the fight until we were both able to stand again. We “tag in” and fight for the one we love and the cause of God’s Kingdom. We have to be 100% sold out to see the bigger picture when the going gets rough. The glory of God is the purpose for which we exist. Our relationship is worth the investment and the sacrifice to succeed for His glory! Men and women can succeed together. We must work as a team for His glory. We must work as a team for the sake of our families, our nation, and the Kingdom of God.
As go men and women goes the family.
As goes the family,
Goes the church,
Goes the Kingdom, and the world.
First Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV) say, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Unity Is Powerful.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” —Mother Teresa
Unity is crucial. The enemy wants to divide you as a husband and wife. He wants you to focus only on your needs, your issues, and your problems. He wants to pit you against each other instead of being in unity and working together against the enemy.
We can’t let the enemy come between us and our unity!
Galatians 5:15 (NCV) warns, “If you go on hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other.”
Couples weren’t meant to destroy each other. They were meant to build each other up. The head of the family will affect the entire family. As long as the enemy can divide us, he can conquer our families.
A few years ago, my husband, Gary, and I wanted to go on a tandem bike ride. I was going to sign us up for “the world’s most beautiful bike ride,” a gorgeous 100-mile trek at Lake Tahoe, California. We had a plan to train and get in shape, but since it was winter in Ohio, we used that as our excuse not to.
I thought we would bike for 20 miles, stop to rest and eat, then go again. We had never been to Lake Tahoe before, and we did NOT realize that Lake Tahoe was completely surrounded by mountains… The closer and closer we got to Lake Tahoe, I realized we were in for a fun ride!
Some of you got into marriage that way. You thought it was going to be phenomenal and easy, you’d never have any issues, and it was going to look like all the movies. Then you got married and thought, What happened?
I want to encourage you today to fight for your marriage.
“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” Mark 3:25 (NIV).
The enemy will tell you you can’t do it. There will be a bunch of people telling you that you can quit. But you’ve got to stay in the race. Don’t give up because it’s hard.
Instead of listening to the voices of the culture, you have to say what God says. God is there, and His Word will get you through this!
We gave it everything we had. And Gary and I finished the race!
Say NO to Selfishness.
So many couples talk about how hard marriage is, but marriage isn’t the issue. Marriage only reveals what’s already inside of us! The real issue is our desire to do things our way when and how WE want. SELFISHNESS asks, How will this affect ME? But LOVE asks, How will this affect THEM?
Marriage is not hard. Selfishness is!
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. —Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)
Marriage is God’s plan to help us see ourselves in the mirror of how we treat others. Without it, we tend just to become more self-centered and demanding, which ultimately shows up in every relationship.
Look at our culture, and you can see this so clearly! We need strong marriages and homes again to save America and the world from self-destruction. And children need the security and love that strong marriages bring.
When I look back at the beginning of Gary’s and my marriage, I know that marriage wasn’t hard… We were!
I’m personally grateful that although we sometimes still disagree, my husband and I have worked on a strong, rewarding relationship that has kept us from becoming hard. It’s tenderized the rough in us and brought out the good. We are better people with a better life because of our marriage to one another and commitment to God.
There Is a Better Way.
We all have needs. It’s easy to forget the pain and difficulty others have and only focus on ourselves. When we go there, it’s easy to become like some who don’t hesitate to be nasty to others. If we allow it to escalate, nasty replaces common courtesy and becomes our way of life. Our human tendency leans toward selfishness. If we can keep our eyes on a bigger picture and remember to treat others how we wish to be treated, we will experience greater happiness—not only between men and women but between all of us. Kindness goes a long way!
Our mission is to be like Jesus. He is our example. He is our Judge. He didn’t attempt to make Himself equal with God, and yet He is. That is the kind of selfless attitude we should have in our marriages!
You have no rival,
You have no equal.
Now and forever, God, you reign.
Yours is the Kingdom,
Yours is the glory.
Yours is the name above all names.