By Stephanie Blackiston
My husband and I recently had the privilege of speaking at a marriage retreat. We love exhorting couples toward Christ-centered oneness! We want couples to know God’s heart for their marriage.
As I send out yearly Christmas cards, I mark out addresses of couples who have divorced. Another For Sale sign pops up in our neighborhood due to divorce.
It grieves my heart.
We are nearing 20 years of marriage and time is revealing which marriages were built on sand…and which were built on the Rock.
Our marriage should have crashed by now.
We have miraculously weathered violent storms.
We hunker down in prayer and faith during the storms, and are constantly amazed that our house is still standing after the storm passes by.
Another thing that seems missing in failed marriages is shared “vision”.
“Vision” is a word that gets thrown a lot but what is it and how do you get it?
Prov 29:18 says “where there is no vision, the people perish”.
Vision can also be translated “divine guidance”.
The verse goes on to say:
“But whoever follows divine instruction will be HAPPY!”
Happily married couples follow divine instruction.
How do we do that?
First, we have to individually be seeking the Lord and
surrendered to Him.
Secondly, a good marriage is a “fruit”. We can miss the forest for the trees if we aren’t careful and focus more on our marriages than we do on the Lord. Marriage was created by God and for God but it cannot be God! We have to worship the Giver, not the gift.
My marriage is the sweetest gift I have ever known. I adore my husband. It is easy to idolize him, but only Jesus can be the perfect Husband. I have to keep Jesus Christ number one in my heart. As we both abide in Jesus, our true Vine, supernatural fruit appears in our marriage.
Your marriage may be troubled and storm-battered.
“O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you…” Is 54:11
Never forget… our God rebuilds.
Jeremiah 15 says
“I will deliver you for a good purpose”
“If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me”
God delivers and restores in order to use us for His glory!
As we seek vision for our marriages, we will find it in the Word.
Here are some vision verses:
“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Ps 34:3
*God, we want to magnify you through our marriage. Show us specific ways we can magnify and exalt Your name together!
“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” Zep 3:9
*God, purify us and help us call on You and serve You shoulder to shoulder/side by side.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3
*God, give us unity! Help us walk together in agreement.
“This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Gen 2:24
*God, make us ONE. Bring oneness into our marriages and homes.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9
*God, give us an overprotective heart toward anyone who would want to bring division or separation in our marriages. May we be quick to create distance from these people.
“Two are better than one,”
*God make us BETTER together! Help us to flourish because of marriage.
“because they have a good return for their labor:”
*Give us a spiritual return in our marriages! Help us to work together… equally yoked… for Your glory!
“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
*God give us hearts to HELP each other when one of us falls down. Show us how to help each other UP.
“But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up”.
*May this never be us, Lord.
“Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?”
*God bring Your warmth into our marriages, homes and into our intimate lives.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.”
*God, help us defend each other in the spiritual realm so we aren’t overpowered by the enemy.
“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:9-12
*God, we truly are hanging on by a thread. And that thread is YOU.
Through Christ, we can be happily married in marriages that stand the test of time! We can show the world a powerful and mysterious oneness as we seek the Lord together.
Re-commit your marriage to the Lord to be used for His purposes. Your love will be strengthened as you exalt God shoulder-to-shoulder!
God has such a beautiful plan for your marriage.
Stephanie has a passion to see women of all ages engaged with the Word of God. The ministry, “Good Soil Girls” is an overflow of her love and devotion to the Word of God and that passion. She is married to her real life prince, Tim and she is a homemaker for her eight precious children. You can read more about their story on her blog. For more information about Stephanie, please visit her blog.