Are Marriages "Made in Heaven?"
On my wedding day, I was standing with my Mother in my wedding dress, getting ready to walk down the aisle, and she handed me the key to her house and said, "When you get ready, you just come home!"
Mother really did not like Stan. She did not think he was the right person for me. And my Mother and I were great friends! I loved her dearly and would never hurt her. She had lived a very difficult life and never complained about it. I was her oldest daughter and she and I had weathered lots of storms together. But Stan had been my best friend through college and after, and I knew he would always be there for me.
However, I was not a Christian on that day we married and there is a lot more to this story about my conversion, etc., but what I want you to know is that if I had not become a Christian, I am quite sure Stan and I would not be married today. We had several strikes against us: I was a feminist, fiercely independent, and my parents never let up! At one point early in our marriage, they told me that I had to choose between Stan or them and that I was theirs first!
Our marriage began as a recipe for disaster. My life changing experience began when I started studying the Bible with the minister who married us, and within a few months I became a Christian. From the day I was raised from the water, I tried intentionally to put on that "newness of life." I often feel like that was the day my real life began.
I learned from the Scriptures that God instituted marriage, but realized very soon that it had to be lived out on earth. And there's the catch!
Marriage is difficult. And God's pattern is often mocked in our culture. But God's plans never change for the culture.
Here is God's plan, made simple and spoken by Jesus himself:
"Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'"
The world can step around this pattern in any way it wants to, but it doesn't change the pattern. And we are not "of the world" anyway if we are in Christ. It is Christ to whom we will give account of how we have lived in our marriages. You won't account for your husband. He won't account for you.
Let's not emulate Adam and Eve when God confronted them in the garden. Adam blamed Eve and even intimated that God was his excuse for sinning, because God gave him Eve! When it was Eve's turn, she blamed the serpent and not her own choice.
We are all good at blaming others and making excuses. And we must know that God has heard it all.
From the day we met, Stan and I have never been alike. There are things about him I don't really like to this day. And I am sure there are things about me that he is not very fond of either! However, we choose not to focus on those things. Focusing on even one negative trait in another person is one of the easiest ways to destroy our love for that person. I have watched it happen over and over.
Yes, there have been storms in our marriage. But there has also been calmness, joy, heartache, disappointments, tears, humility, forgiveness, happiness, confidence, struggle and the unknown. But we both know God's plan for marriage. And we both want Him to be a part of this marriage and we understand "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12
When that third stand in the marriage is God, and both people want to please Him, I believe that the gates of Hell or an evil culture cannot prevail against that marriage!"
I never used that key Mother gave me on my wedding day. I never ran home to my mother. I ran to that Third Strand and His word. I knew He wanted us to stay together no matter what the world or anyone else said.
In January, Stan and I we will have been married half a Century. I don't think my Mother gave us half a year!
I never did buy into that old Frank Sinatra song, "I Did it My Way." The true, lasting joy in marriage is doing it His way!
Love in the Lord,
P.S. I have watched so many Christians wait until it is almost too late to save their marriages to seek help from Christians who care about them. It is rarely ever too late! It is a matter of commitment to God's plan and a state of mind. If you are struggling in your marriage, it is my prayer that you will seek advice from someone who cares about God's design for marriage and your eternal salvation.