Guest blog written by Mrs. Lori Baxley.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. | Ephesians 5:31-33
I told my daughter that I had been asked to write a short devotional on the subject of marriage. After we shared a laugh, as if to say, ‘Who is an expert on marriage?’ I concluded that while I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I do think that after 40+ years of marriage, I may have learned a few things along the way.
Pray for Marriage
We all know that nothing of any great importance is established and built up successfully without a firm foundation. In our case, we were both raised in Christian homes, taught Biblical principles on marriage, and had the advantage of witnessing Christian marriage lived out in our respective homes by our parents. My husband and I both were saved during our youth and were taught to pray for our spouses, even before we knew who they were. So it wasn’t a surprise that God brought us together as young adults and ignited a spark between us. Having prayed together, we felt confident to pursue and develop our budding relationship. Thankfully, what I would call a great love story grew from the seed that God planted in our hearts for each other. Our desire, from the beginning, was to fulfill His will for our lives and to make a commitment that would bring honor to Him, through whatever He had in store for us as a couple.
So in May of 1983, we were married and had great hopes of experiencing a long life together; full of love and kisses, and all that mushy stuff young couples envision. Knowing that Philippians 1:6 says – “being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ;”, gave us a starry-eyed hope of a wonderful future.
Blessings and Trials in Marriage
Indeed, the Lord has blessed us with more than we ever imagined possible. For this, I am so thankful. But I have to also say, we have had more than our share of struggles along the way. These ranged from trivial personality clashes and typical money squabbles (he’s a saver, I’m a spender = inevitable heated discussions), all the way to some serious, life-altering experiences; which include the loss of a child to cancer. Looking back, any of these experiences can threaten to damage a marriage or even kill it. I can say with great assurance that if it weren’t for the foundation we built our marriage on, our love for the Lord, and our desire to honor Him through our marriage, we would’ve been over a long time ago. Because of and even despite these problems, the love we now share for each other is almost palpable. While God is the giver of all things, we know He gave us each other to fulfill all our needs, physical and emotional, here on earth. In the good or bad times, we have remained each other’s greatest cheerleader… loving and encouraging each other along the way. I truly need him and he needs me.
Over the years, I have realized another basic thing…we are both human. We can make each other so happy one minute and then so frustrated the next minute! But knowing that we are only flesh, we accept each other…good and bad. This knowledge allows us to overlook, with love, many things that Satan would try to exploit in us. God gifted us a beautiful bond and we want to protect it at all cost. We are no match for Satan and his devices so showing each other love and grace, along with a lot of prayer, gives us a great advantage over anything Satan may put in our way. You’ve heard the old example of a marriage being likened to a three-fold cord…God, Husband, and the Wife. Mark 10:9 says “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” The strength of that bond cannot be easily broken…even by Satan.
Plainly put, marriage is a beautiful gift shared between a man and a woman. In its purest form, it mirrors Christ’s relationship to His bride. The love Christ has for us is the example we are to follow as husband and wife. Build your marriage on Christ; the center of your life together. Show love always and choose grace over unkindness, spite, or revenge. Bathe your marriage and spouse in much prayer. And enjoy one another in all aspects of marriage. That’s the wonderful gift He designed for us from the beginning of time.
Want some more verses to focus on for your marriage? Check out Grounded in Truth's Verses for Marriage, a verse card set with hand-picked Bible verses to enrich your marriage. Each verse is paired with subtle floral patterns for a beautiful statement that is sure to delight. Enjoy a daily reminder of your love with Verses for Marriage.