12 Feb 2014

There is nothing more heart wrenching than sitting across the table from a Christian couple who want a divorce. I remember meeting with a couple I knew very well and respected highly. So (to my surprise) when they started to share with me their marital problems, I was totally thrown off guard. I thought they wanted to meet to talk about how we can disciple more families in the Word of God—not discuss how to save their marriage!

As my initial shock wore off, I undoubtedly offered my full support and cooperation to see that they received all the care needed to help save their marriage. I remember after I prayed for the couple, and we said our good-byes, I remained in my office for a moment afterwards thinking to myself, why are so many Christian couples having so many problems in their marriages? 

Maybe you, like that couple, have been there or know someone who has. The sad reality is marriages are falling apart because the spouses have failed to keep God in their marriages. It seems like most marriages start out strong, but in a matter of a few short years, that once-glowing marriage begins to grow dimmer by the day.

Life is certainly busy and carries with it many challenges, especially for homeschooling families. All the school-work planning, daily grind of education, co-ops and extra family activities can be overwhelming at times. And it can often put a strain on the marriage. Whether your marriage is actually stronger than ever or is in need of some work, you will benefit from these three essential truths that are applicable to any marriage.

The first essential for any good marriage is to make a covenant with God. It is God who brings the man and the woman together in His presence and unites them as one flesh (Gen. 2:24). This united covenant is not only an acknowledgement that God is to be desired and worshipped, but is also an active submission to one another (Eph. 5:21). When God is central to the marriage equation—that marriage will not be easily broken (Ecc. 4:12).

The second essential is a companionship shared between the husband and the wife. A simple component that surfaces in healthy marriages is laughter. That’s right. A great indicator of a good marriage is one that is filled with laughter and joy. In Proverbs 17:22 it reads, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” To achieve laughter and joy in marriage, the husband and wife must seek time together and work hard to be good medicine to each other.

The third essential to a good marriage is a commitment to remain faithful and pure. Without question every marriage will have its ups and downs. But God has called each person who is married to remain committed and He will give the strength to overcome any trial or testing (1 Cor. 10:13). The bottom line is, for a marriage to last, the individuals must surrender everything and be willing to do anything to keep the trust and commitment strong.

In the end, marriages that last are ones in which the spouses stick together, trusting God for their future. Those in a good marriage don’t look to win the argument or get everything they want. They work together and seek to use their marriage as a ministry to others (Phil. 2:4). Ecclesiastes 9:9 sums up marriage pretty well: “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days.” Remember, members of a good marriage make a covenant before God, cultivate a strong companionship with each other and stay committed to the very end.

Marriage Commitments

1. Spend time in daily prayer and meditation in the Word of God.
2. Offer daily intercession for your spouse and family.
3. Deliberately seek the Lord together in prayer.
4. Discuss and agree on a plan for the family.
5. Be open and transparent about your feelings.
6. Be a great listener.
7. Treat your family the way you would want to be treated.
8. Serve the other person.
9. Always forgive.
10. Build fun memories.