“Then the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Gen. 2:1
“I do.” I answered the minster as I looked deeply into the most precious face I have ever laid my eyes on. I never thought those words would slide so easily off my tongue. I have to admit, when the pastor said, “until death do us part”, a lump went down my throat. But, I swallowed anyway. As morbid as it sounded, love was worth the lump.
Sticking to my commitments has never been my strong point. To alleviate this condition, I usually avoided this by never committing myself to anything!
That all went out the door the minute I fell in love with John. I dove headfirst into love without thinking about it too much. My heart had so much to say, there was nothing my mind could do to stop me.
When we first tied the knot, countless married (and divorced) friends warned us that our first year of wedded bliss would be a rough ride, so I braced myself for the worst. The illusive storm never came. Of course, there were a few overcast days, but overall, being married was not that big of a deal. At our five-year anniversary, I started to wonder what all the hoopla was about and if that shoe everyone kept talking about would ever drop. I was waiting for it.
John and I just celebrated being married for eleven happy years.
Looking back over the quick decade, I can honestly say that things have only gotten better. Our appreciation for each other, our trust and our expectations have all been a great tapestry of our good and bad times. We have learned that honor, respect and love are not just pretty words. They are the very foundation of relationships that weather the storms of life.
In this day and age of drive-through marriages and hellfire divorces, it seems that everybody wants to know the secret to our happiness. John and I have one manual that we lead our entire lives by. The Bible.
Here are some verses that we have grounded our marriage firmly in:
#1: We have each other’s back. As Abe Lincoln famously said in 1858, A house divided against itself cannot stand. We are not perfect and we do not expect each other to be. It is a rule that no matter how angry we are—we never tear each other down especially in front of others.
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4
“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well being. “ 1 Cor. 10:24
#2: We value our private time together and have fun. We do not entertain anything else as an “option”. There are no choices in a marriage. Marriage is not a buffet, but you do get the best cut of meat for the rest of your life.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” Heb 13:4
#3: We pray together. Every night we bless each other and thank the Lord for another day together. We do not wait until conflict happens to pray, we pray daily. It is our nightly habit. It sure is hard to stay angry at someone when you are holding hands in prayer!
“Again I say to you, if two or more agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for tem by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matt 18:19-20
#4: We understand that there cannot be two captains running the ship. We are partners and we allow each person to use their strengths to carry the other person’s weaknesses. If God has chosen the husband to be the leader of the home, than we go with that model. A godly man will honor the reverence he receives from his wife and not become a tyrant.
“Like wise, ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversion of the wives;
While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adoring let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel ; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:” I Peter 3:1-5
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous;
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” I Peter 3:7-9
#5: We appreciate each other and don’t take each other for granted. Serving each other is like serving God, because it is obedience to His will.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of the God.” Eph. 5:20-21
#6: We depend on God to heal our wounds, and we lean on each other for extra support. God is our main support.
“He heals the brokenhearted and bind s up their wounds. Ps 147:3
#7: Anger is dealt with right away. We hash out issues before they become deep-rooted problems. We look for ways to forgive each other since neither one of us is perfect. We remind ourselves that we would like mercy and forgiveness when we need it, so we pay it forward by offering it freely.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Prov. 15:1
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity for the devil.” Eph 4:26, 27
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Prov.19:11
#8: We control ourselves before we speak, asking the Lord to help us.
“He who hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Prov. 14:17
#9: We deal with every situation in the most peaceful way possible. We pursue peace.
“Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Ps. 34:14
#10: We are choosey about whom we spend our time with and what we do. Life is too short to waste it with people who have no interest in your best interest.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Prov. 13:20
#11: We remember that God has forgiven us of much and both of us have separate backgrounds. God speaks to each person differently, and we are not to judge each other but support each other with love and prayer.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but consisderest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the more out of thin eye; and, behold, a beam is thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of they brother’s eye.” Matt. 7:1-5
#12: We have dedicated our house and our marriage to the Lord and ask Him to not only bless and protect it, but lead it. He is the Lord of it.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Josh. 24:15
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I want to thank you for the beauty of marriage. I appreciate that you hand-picked someone just for me. My mate will be the very one to challenge me to grow in the direction that you want.
Lord, I dedicate this marriage to you. I ask that you water it with your love and infinite wisdom. We are two imperfect souls coming together imperfectly. We trust that you will blend us to sing a beautiful harmony in your honor.
Lord, please heal all the wounds that we have brought into this marriage. Break every soul-tie we have that is not of you. Help us to see each other’s needs and pain with empathy. We commit to serving you by serving each other before ourselves. In Jesus’ precious name, bless this marriage, Amen.”
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan
*This article was written in celebration of Pastor Tom and Stella Terry’s 32nd Wedding Anniversary. Thank you for your living example of a marriage that is centered in Christ.
For more direction and personal guidance on a blessed marriage union go to: www.faithalivefellowship.org