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Marriage Protection

“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!

4 Comments

  • Annonymous Me

    Dear Kim,

    Thank you again for your encouraging words, because mine can be harsh at times. Oh dear friend, I am so lonely in my marriage … he hardly speaks to me, puts me down in front of our 5 children, touches and spends more time on his phone than with me, won’t pray with me, disregards my thoughts and opinions, restricts my spending but he buys anything he wants, and the list goes on. Sometimes he is good for a few weeks, even a month or two as a record, but then just goes back to the same old routine. He use to be really mean to me and the children, but praise the Lord, that has gotten quite a bit better and at least he has owned up to his behavior in that area. I just feel like all he needs me, wants me for is sex whenever he wants it. I have read your book and listened to your story, thank you for the encouragement and praise the Lord for His miracles. I have also been listening to Dr. Clarke on Focus on the Family and really feel like I need to confront him again, please pray for me sister. I have been non-submissive and manipulative in the past and have confessed to him and have changed the way I speak to and think about him, although not perfect for sure, but praise the Lord for what He has done in my heart over the past 6 years or so. Now I pray that the good Lord who is faithful to answer prayers, changes the heart of my husband so that we will honor Him with our family.

  • Vivian Etherington

    Excellent post,Kim! I love the Scriptures you have with the statements of commitment. Great reminders! Yes, there are some marriages I am praying for. And yes, I am going to share this with some people I know.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Viv ~

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and thanks for passing this on to others. So glad you have specific marriages that you are battling for in prayer! I am so thankful for the truth of the Word and love to watch it bring lasting transformation ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Dear “Anonymous” sister ~

    I am so very sorry. How my heart breaks to read your story. God is able to bring transformation, to bring more than we can ask or think (Eph 2:20), and although that is absolutely true, some women never see the changes come that they so desperately desire.

    I pray that is not the case in your situation but that you experience the joy of seeing a complete and total redeeming work happen in your husband’s life and in your marriage. May you continue to press on to maturity in Christ and love for Him, no matter what choices your husband makes.

    Please check out this post (“Ready to Give Up?”) and the links embedded in it:

    http://www.kimberlywagner.org/?p=2585

    Stay in touch and let us here how God is working in your heart and in your husband’s life ~