“Let your heart have an unshakeable hope for your marriage”
Without a doubt, the dream of a happy marriage is one of the most consistent longings of the human heart. Forget the bleak statistics we’ve seen, forget the bad rap that committed, lifelong marriage gets in the media – we want to marry our best friend, then enjoy our spouse and enjoy being married. And many people do! So what makes the difference?
The bible has so many vital words of life, so many practical answers for building a rich, abundant, lifelong marriage. And it is awe-inspiring to see that social research findings “reveal” what the Bible has said all along.
In all my research with thousands of men and women, there is one bottom-line common denominator among marriages that survive versus those that fail: hope. The feeling that we can and will make it. This is the courage of those who hope not in themselves, but in the Lord. And for a great marriage, it is this we must never give up.
When trouble and pain press in on every side, many couples become depressed and deceived by the feeling that there is no hope. They are tricked by the frequently quoted but incorrect idea that half of all marriages end in divorce. They worry, “If half of all other marriages can’t make it, what makes us so special?” and they give up as their courage slips away – due to a lie that is tailor-made to steal our hope.
Don’t let it. That myth has been debunked. The vast majority of marriages last a lifetime. This miraculous institution that God has created to mirror the relationship between us and Jesus, still works. He is still working. You can trust in Him, even when you cannot trust yourself or your spouse.
But you must live in that hope. Even if you are the only one clinging to that hope – CLING.
You also must walk in the faith of things not yet seen, doing what you are called to do, as if the answer is guaranteed. We all know that in this fallen world there ARE no guarantees. But the power of our hope in Him is so transformative, so life-giving that if even one partner is fighting for the marriage, if even one person won’t give up, if even one person does what they can do regardless of whether their spouse does the same… it is not only possible for that marriage to survive and thrive, it is likely.
Not to mention what the marriage can do and be once it is back on solid footing! After all, God’s perfect design for marriage is one of supernatural closeness and joy. So whether you have a wonderful marriage already, or are hoping for one someday, step out in courage to do what the Bible asks each day -- and have hope for that abundant outcome.
Dear Lord, give me the courage and hope I need, for the rich and beautiful marriage you want for me. Show me where I have been believing the lies of discouragement, and open my eyes to the truth. In the weeks to come, help me to see exactly how to apply these biblical principles to my own marriage and do what I can do -- and to watch as you do the great things that only you can do. Amen.