Long Lasting Marriage Series Written From The Heart - Coria Brock
“Long Lasting Marriage”, for much of my life this was a dream to me. Before I came to know Christ, I thought marriage represented a love which never ceased. However, in this century, it sounded impossible. At least impossible for the old me, who was living a rocky life. If marriage is about love, then how hard is it to love a person continuously? Let us look at ourselves and be honest, we are all imperfect. Three hundred sixty-five days, twenty-four hours a day, how many unpleasant things do we do? Not to ourselves, but to those who we love. The people we are close with are always the ones who see the worst parts of us. Day after day, year after year, is it truly possible for us to have that “Understanding” to work and forgive all the mistakes we each make? Not for the old me who did not know Christ, did not know what love is, and did not know what marriage was for.
Just turn on the television or watch the news. No matter if it is real, or just made-up stories, failed relationships are everywhere. Even when it happens to us, the everyday people, it may feel hard at the time, but eventually it always gets easier. “Move On” is the phrase that the newer generation use to define how to remain positive and strong and move forward. Many believe that if something went wrong, then it just means that relationship was simply “not my cup of tea.” (Or coffee if you prefer) When a relationship ends it is no big deal. Forgiveness, endurance, patience, all the work needed to make effort towards the commitment…many will say, “Forget it! I still have my life and my future!”
Long suffering is not an easy decision to make. Does that mean “marriage” is not a good thing, or something we should not consider or even hope for? I will say, if the old stubborn me who knew nothing about the truth was given even a thousand times to try to do it better, it would have still led to a dead end. So what is the truth that can bring us a hope and future, and how does that truth relate to marriage? Let me share what I have learned…
God defines what marriage is and He is the one to give it purpose
Jesus is the husband and the church is the wife
Christ is the Foundation of Marriage
How do these three statements work and how do they apply to marriage? If you refer the “Written From My Heart” article I shared as part of the “New Marriage” series, you will find the answer. But, you may be thinking, how could that even work? If that is you, then I would encourage you to read that article before making any assumptions. If we claim we are Christians, should we not follow what Christ has taught us and do what He has commanded us to do? His word always brings truth and light even in the darkness of the storm.
Does that mean once I know the truth and have the knowledge that is offers, I would be able to work through until to the end? Let me ask you, if you know how a car works and have watched a video of how to correctly drive, does that mean you will be able to drive a car on the road without any problems? I believe the answer is, “No, it is impossible.” It requires practice, and our skill level will depend on how much time we put into practicing it. We must also remember that just as when we drive on the road, we are surrounded by other people, in a marriage, we are also not alone. Marriage is a two-man job and after we know the truth, and have the understanding, we still need to work on it. Not by ourselves alone, but with our spouse, the one who we love. Remember he/she is your life partner as the Bible taught us that a marriage is “Two become one”. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31) You live, and you move, and your life is no longer lived alone. The church without Christ is like a well without water, it does not work.
Over time I have had the opportunity to join various fellowship groups and have had the opportunity to talk with them. I found that there are some, or sad to say many, married couples who do not walk in Christ and are not taking the same steps together. By same steps, I mean that they do not really concern about or pay attention to their spouse’s spiritual walk with Christ, which also reflects their desire for a deeper relationship with Christ. Picture this example, one of them stands on the high ground and can see all that is beneath, but the other, who they should be walking with, is left in the valley and trapped in the thorn bushes. Does it work if only one of them keeps their eyes upon Christ while the other continues to focus upon the world? “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:1, NIV) If someone says they believe in Christ, but they do not follow His ways or even have the desire to, should they claim to be a believer? If two truly become one, how could one half make Jesus their Lord, while the other half only views Him as their Savior? Let me make myself clear here, I am not suggesting that any one of you reconsider the spouse you have, but instead look to how you can grow stronger in Christ together. If Christ should be the one to lead the church, should the husband also lead the wife? Or if a church should seek to walk with Christ, should the wife seek to walk with her husband in the will of God as well?
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Mark 8:36-37, NIV)
There are lot of materials and theories that the world offers about how to love our spouse, but what I want you to know is that love is always done in truth (1 Corinthians 13:8, NIV). How hard is to cook a nice meal and prepare something for the pleasure of your spouse? But what about caring for and looking after their soul? I believe the word “Soul mate” has an important and unique meaning. This not only concerns the way they understand each other, but the way they walk and moving in one accord - the same value, the same desires, and same beliefs.
Both the husband and the wife must practice this together. It requires that they work together and build a family together. If Christ is the cornerstone of your marriage and your family, then then you should build with the same materials as Christ did and you should work together to do it. No one would build a house of half brick and half wood. And, the technique and type of brick they use should be the same as well or else the house will not look the same. This is the way that a house is built in order to stand the test of time. If we desire for our house to be built this way, and we desire it to last for a long time, should we not also build our marriage the same way as well?
“Praise the Lord! He is good. God’s love never fails. Praise the God of all gods. God’s love never fails. Praise the Lord of lords. God’s love never fails. Only God works great miracles. God’s love never fails. With wisdom he made the sky. God’s love never fails. The Lord stretched the earth over the ocean. God’s love never fails. He made the bright lights in the sky. God’s love never fails. He lets the sun rule each day. God’s love never fails. He lets the moon and the stars rule each night. God’s love never fails. God struck down the first-born in every Egyptian family. God’s love never fails. He rescued Israel from Egypt. God’s love never fails. God used his great strength and his powerful arm. God’s love never fails. He split the Red Sea apart. God’s love never fails. The Lord brought Israel safely through the sea. God’s love never fails. He destroyed the Egyptian king and his army there. God’s love never fails. The Lord led his people through the desert. God’s love never fails. Our God defeated mighty kings. God’s love never fails. And he killed famous kings. God’s love never fails. One of them was Sihon, king of the Amorites. God’s love never fails. Another was King Og of Bashan. God’s love never fails. God took away their land. God’s love never fails. He gave their land to Israel the people who serve him. God’s love never fails. God saw the trouble we were in. God’s love never fails. He rescued us from our enemies. God’s love never fails. He gives food to all who live. God’s love never fails. Praise God in heaven! God’s love never fails.” (Psalm 136, CEV)
If difficulties come, then let us endure them together. If temptations come, let us hold each other’s hand and resist them together. If mistakes are made, then let us forgive and forget. No matter what it is, we will overcome it together, and rejoice and be glad together. Because God’s love never fails. “The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiahs 31:3, ESV) If our love for each other is like the love of Christ and we abide together in Him, no matter how impossible everlasting love may seem in this world, it is possible in God!