“It took him thirty days to break up my twenty-three year marriage.” The pain was evident on his face as this weary man poured out his story to my husband and me. We’ve heard it before. We’ll hear it again. Another marriage bites the dust. The names and faces change, but the heart issues are always the same.
“She met him on Facebook. I hate that thing. She’s taken my daughter to live with him. My daughter is living in the same house with some man I don’t even know! He wrecked my marriage and now he has my wife and daughter!”
How does a twenty-three marriage end this way?
It doesn’t happen overnight, there are a series of choices along the way. The death of a marriage is paved with a road of self-serving decisions, many of which happen so imperceptibly the travelers lose sight of what once was and should be.
What would this marriage look like today if, at the wedding altar the bride and groom had committed to live out these vows:
♥ I will seek to love you with the love Christ has shown me.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
♥ I will look out for your best interests.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
♥ I will protect our marriage bed by keeping a pure heart and mind.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)
♥ I will demonstrate the grace to you that has been given to me.
“And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
♥ I will pray faithfully for you.
“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11–12)
♥ I will always treat you as my friend and not my enemy.
“A friend loves at all times . . .” Proverbs 17:17
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9)
♥ I will never hide anything from you.
“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” (1 Peter 2:1)
♥ I will never betray God by lying to you.
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25)
♥ I will appreciate you.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
♥ I will live with a teachable heart, always seeking to grow into maturity in Christ.
Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
♥ I commit to applying this passage to our relationship:
[box]“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God . . .
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry . . .
But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him . . .
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:1–17)[/box]
Will you join me in praying for the marriages around us?
Let’s encourage husbands and wives to lives out these truths of Scripture.
Do you know someone who would benefit from this post today? Please send it to them and join me in praying for God to protect and use marriages to glorify His great name!