By Michelle S. Lazurek, Crosswalk.com
As a kid, I loved cutting, pasting, and making collages out of magazine clippings. I loved putting two ends of a paper together and watching the glue bond the two pieces together. When the glue dried, it was difficult to tear the paper apart. However, with some work, I could always tear it apart. The enemy loves to destroy marriages. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Marriage Is a Covenant
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Marriage is a covenant that we make before God and man. We take vows on our wedding day and pledge before God and others that we will love, honor, and cherish our significant other. Yet, even the strongest marriages can go through rough patches from time to time. If we are not careful, the glue that holds our marriages together may fall apart, causing us to seek separation or divorce. How do we keep our marriage bond together? Here are six types of "glue" that hold the marriage together:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Devonyu
Whether you got married in a courthouse or a church, you made a vow before God to commit yourself wholeheartedly to your spouse. When you place a wedding ring on your finger, you show the outside world that you're dedicated to your spouse. Even through difficult times, your commitment to God must be at the forefront of your marriage. Knowing this is part of God's overall destiny for your life will help you honor your commitments, even when it's difficult. The marriage relationship mirrors Christ in the church. It can be messy at times, but marriage helps purify us and makes us the spotless bride he desires for his church when he returns. One of the ways we keep ourselves blameless before him is if we honor our commitment to our marriage.
Imagine claiming you were a Christian. You went to church, served on committees, and helped out in your community. But you never spoke to, thought of, or communicated with God the other six days of the week. What type of relationship would you have? Yet, that is the nature of some of your relationships with God. He desires an intimate connection with us. He never forces his will on us because he wants us to want to be with him.
It's the same in marriage. What type of relationship would you have if you went weeks without speaking to each other? A marriage cannot survive without good communication. This means going deeper than just surface-level communication. We need to talk about emotional needs, deep wounds, and other issues that may come between us. Conflict may arise when this happens, but when you are committed to your marriage, you can be assured that you will always work things out.
People in this world will let you down. This is especially true for your spouse. In our humanity, we often put our own needs ahead of our spouses, causing hurt and betrayal. Yet, you must be quick to forgive one another when your spouse hurts you. God says when we forgive others, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. More than likely, we've committed the same sins against our spouse that they have committed against us. When we see our marriage relationship from that perspective, it is easier to forgive and let it go than to hold a grudge. Be quick to forgive your spouse when they hurt you. Although some offenses may be harder to forgive or take longer, we are all called to forgive each and every wrong committed against us. Jesus tells us we must forgive others repeatedly even when we don't feel they deserve it. Ask God to help you forgive if forgiving on your own proves too difficult. It not only improves your marriage relationship but also frees you from the emotional and spiritual bondage that holding onto that offense may cause you.
Join Rob & Joanna Teigen on the FREE Growing Home Together Podcast each week, where they talk about what makes a strong marriage and wisdom in parenting. We share uplifting advice and practical tools to help you grow closer to God and each other in every season of life. Listen to their episode on surviving the hardest days of marriage by clicking the play button below:
While it sounds simplistic, love is the ultimate glue that holds a marriage together. Make no mistake: love is more than just a feeling. When the butterflies we had when we first started dating may have gone away, the beauty of love is that it goes grows deeper with each passing year. The intimacy we gained from knowing each other and living together regularly cannot be replicated in any other relationship. Therefore, it is one of the hardest relationships to maintain because as our intimacy deepens, we readily see each other's flaws and weaknesses. In our flesh, it will be easy to capitalize on those flaws and weaknesses to make ourselves feel superior. But that is not loving our spouse the way God intended. Instead, he wants us to love our spouse the way we love him. Although we may mess up from time to time, the more we learn from our mistakes and love each other with fewer conditions, the more fulfilling our relationship will be and the godlier followers we will become.
5. Emotional Connectedness
While emotional connectedness does not just involve communication, it is equally as vital to the success of a marriage as communication. Emotional connectedness is more than just having things in common. It means creating a safe space where spouses can share their deepest thoughts and feelings without fear of being condemned. While part of the marriage relationship is for each spouse to help the other see the error of his or her ways, a spouse needs to feel safe and secure that no matter what they share, it will be held in the highest confidentiality. When spouses don't feel safe with each other, their relationship will become nothing more than a roommate situation. in the same way, God does not want us to merely go through the motions when it comes to our relationship with him; God does not want us to go through the motions when it comes to our marriage relationship either. Marriages have the most significant potential to be the most fulfilling relationships in our lives but also the most hurtful. By being able to share our deepest emotions with another human being, we bond with them on a level, unlike any other relationship. This will deepen not only the emotional bond but the sexual one.
On our wedding day, we vowed to love, honor, and cherish our spouses. To honor someone means to hold them in high regard. This means valuing their opinions, putting their needs first, and bringing out the best in them. This means we must refrain from speaking badly about our spouses to others even if they even if we speak to someone in confidence. It is one thing to share a marriage burden and seek advice about an issue. It is quite another to talk badly about them so that person may think less of them. Our job as spouses is to let the world see them in the best light possible. Our presence in their lives can help that.
While no marriage is perfect, we can seek to love and honor God by honoring our marriage commitment. By keeping God at the center of our marriage and doing the work necessary to keep our commitment to one another, no matter what the enemy does to destroy the marriage, he will never be able to tear it apart.