Fight For Your Marriage…Even If Everyone Tells You Not To

By | Family, Relationships | No Comments

Do you want your marriage to work, but you don’t know how? You know staying together is the right thing to do, but everything about our society makes it easier to give up and move on. Even the way people talk about marriage makes you question whether staying together is worth it:

“It’s just a signed piece of paper.”

“If you don’t like being married, just get a divorce. It’s that simple.” 

It is easy for someone else to tell you to quit when the going gets tough, but only you are responsible for your decisions. And if you’ll choose to fight for your marriage, God will fight with you.

Throughout the Bible, God is described as our help, our shield, our fortress, and our strength. And in Psalm 33, the Bible promises that “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love…”

Why God Wants You to Fight for Your Marriage

We know God wants us to fight for our marriages because marriage was His idea.

After making the earth, the animals, and man, God decided it was not good for Adam to be alone. So God created a woman, and at the first wedding ceremony in history, he introduced Adam to Eve (Genesis 2:18-25).

Adam describes his wife as “bones and flesh of my flesh,” and they were united as one.

Thousands of years later, Jesus reminds his followers that marriage has always been more than a contract with God:

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:5-6).

Marriage is a commitment between one man and one woman before God to spend a lifetime loving and serving each other for God’s glory. The covenant we make in marriage was designed to mirror the unconditional, unshakeable covenant between Jesus and us (Ephesians 5:22-33). That’s why fighting for our marriage matters so much to God.

When we pursue our spouses, we are making the choice to put Jesus first in our lives. We’re choosing to trust that God’s design for marriage will exceed our own expectations.

How to Fight for Your Marriage

1. Never give up.

Every marriage experiences difficulty. Those trials are meant to deepen our love for our spouse—just as trials are meant to deepen our relationship with Christ (1 Corinthians 7:28).

If the trials seem like more than you can bear on your own, it’s okay to ask for help. Consider meeting with a professional counselor or opening up to an older, married couple who can help you through hard times.

Any good relationship takes dedication, commitment, and communication. We have to want our marriage to be great and to want to strive to make it better…no matter our circumstances.

2. Fight for your marriage, not in it.

The more you invest in your marriage, the more valuable it will become to you. What you invest in and value, you will fight for. Two ways to know you’re fighting for your marriage and not in it:

  • Focus on yourself and what needs to change in you before pointing out what needs to change about your spouse.
  • Try to not use the word “you” when you’re arguing. Instead, focus more on the word “I.” For example, “I know I have been doing this and I am sorry,” instead of, “You know you shouldn’t do that and you need to apologize.”

Taking responsibility for your part of the problem eliminates a lot of fighting “in” your marriage. This is how you demonstrate your desire to make a difference.

3. Guard your marriage.

God is constantly drawing people to himself and, one day, Jesus will return to Earth to put an end to our world’s sin and brokenness (Revelation 21:4). But in the meantime, Satan will do anything he can, including attack marriages, in an effort to make Christians ineffective and distract non-Christians from Jesus’ offer of salvation.

Marriages are vulnerable to Satan because they are valuable to God. If Satan can create disunity between a husband and wife, he can cause believers and non-believers alike to question God’s good design for relationships.

Satan’s first language is deceit, creating doubts like “Does he really mean it when he says ‘I love you’?” One of the best ways to guard your marriage against Satan’s attacks is to guard your mind.

When Satan tries to get you to question your spouse, remember the apostle Paul’s advice: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

4. Pursue your spouse.

The more you feed something, the faster it grows. The more you starve it, the faster it dies. Pursuing your spouse is how you feed your marriage.

Just like a healthy plant has deep roots that help it withstand droughts, cold fronts, and all sorts of storms, a healthy marriage is deeply rooted in love, allowing it to withstand all kinds of conflict. Peter, one of Jesus’ close friends, reminds us of this writing, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

So what does loving each other deeply look like? Ask your spouse what makes him or her feel loved. Then, do what he or she says. Be intentional about making your spouse your first priority after Jesus, remembering that what you feed with your time and attention is what will grow. If you want your marriage to be stronger than your career, feed it more than your job. If you want your relationship to be strong after the kids move away, put it first in your family.

5. Pray for your marriage, for your spouse, and for yourself.

Prayer is a vital role in fighting for your marriage. It is a weapon Satan cannot stand up to. Prayer aligns your actions with God’s will, strengthening your obedience and faith to overcome your selfishness.

As you pray for your spouse and yourself, ask God to help you see your spouse through His eyes and to help you fix the things you need to become more like Jesus. Let God transform you, while trusting Him to do the same for your spouse (Romans 12:9-12).

 

This article was re-posted with permission from Newspring Church in Anderson, South Carolina.

To See Him Who Is Invisible

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the fourth article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” —Psalm 16:8-9, 11

It’s always about what we’re seeing, isn’t it? Read More

Nothing To Keep Us Out

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the third article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I have no idea when it happened, because I thought I had been paying closer attention. But when I looked over at my oldest daughter, with her legs crossed, her hair tucked, and her cheeks thinner than they used to be, I could almost feel the wind blow across my face from the years that have somehow flown by.

I can look into a mirror and count the lines on my forehead, and recount the years that put them there. How can faces change like that? How can the years evaporate just. like. that? Read More

I Will Make Myself Remember

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the second article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint, you kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of my past; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked you:

“Will you reject me forever? Will you never show your favor again? Has your unfailing love vanished forever? Has your promise failed for all time? Have you forgotten to be merciful? Have you, in anger, withheld your compassion?”

Then I thought, “I will make myself remember the years when you stretched out your hand. I will remember what you’ve done, I will remember how you’ve helped me. I will remember all your works and meditate on all your mighty ways.”

Because your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? (Psalm 77:1-13, NIV, author’s paraphrase)

There are lines of demarcation in every life—before and after something happened—that mark and divide our years, making a life feel split in two. Read More

As If Nothing Had Yet Been Done

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation, Women | No Comments

This is the first article in The Gathering 2017 Summer Devotional Series. The entire series can be viewed here.

C.S. Lewis wrote:

“Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”

As if nothing had yet been done.

As if we didn’t feel like we’ve failed at this whole thing.
As if we hadn’t ripped a soul apart with what we said.  
As if we weren’t carrying the pain that has made us heavy and tired. Read More

Stress Is Bad…So How Can I Relieve It?

By | Spiritual Formation, Stewardship | 2 Comments

Part two of the series, Making Change, highlighted something to which most of us can relate: the enormous stress caused by financial strain. However, we learned from Scripture the importance of living debt-free and discussed a realistic way we can all eliminate financial debt from our lives. Below is an article from Dave Ramsey about the “Debt Snowball.” At the end, you will find a link to a free online tool you can use to create your debt snowball. Here’s to reducing your stress with the debt snowball! Read More

We Pray. We Fast. God Moves.

By | Devotional, Spiritual Formation | One Comment

Yesterday was an exciting day for me. As a pastor, I have always been invigorated by seeing lives changed, families restored, and people finding hope. As I shared stories of people who call Relevant their church home, I looked out and saw the hundreds more in every service that I know of who have been impacted through our church. It has been an incredible six years as we have watched God move in our community and we have had the opportunity to be a part of it. As we now embark on year seven of the journey of Relevant Church, we are asking God to “DO IT AGAIN.” Read More

Best Summer Ever

What Jesus says about…

By | Students | No Comments

This week in Pulse we will be looking at the grim realities that define the world we live in. Culture is growing dark. Tensions are high. Battle lines are being drawn and crossed. Natural disasters heap crazy on top of a world that is going crazy.

IS THIS THE END? Read More

Best Summer Ever

DAY 23 — ONE LAST THING

By | Students | No Comments

During the past eight days of this reading plan we have focused on the fact that God has called us to produce what the Bible calls, Spirit Fruit. We’ve hit love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, and more.

And the truth we have been working from has been..
If we are “in” Jesus then He is able to work certain things “out” through our lives.
Good things. Not bad things.

Today, we end this study by focusing on “Not bad things…” Read More

Best Summer Ever

DAY 22 — THE HARDEST THING

By | Students | No Comments

Selfishness runs in our veins. Way back in the beginning, our first parents (Adam & Eve) had it made. Everything was great. Everything was centered around a healthy relationship with God and then…they went rogue. They made a decision that was self-centered instead of God-centered and that decision served mankind with a death sentence.  Of course, God is merciful and loving and full of grace so He didn’t just wipe us out…but we are still suffering the consequences brought about by their original lack of self-control. Read More

LATEST MESSAGE

LOCATION

4770 Hwy 42, Locust Grove, Ga 30248
Get Directions

SUNDAYS

9:00AM • 10:20AM • 11:40AM • 5:30PM

STUDENTS

Pulse Students meets Wednesdays at 6:45pm.