My husband and I are coming up on 23 years of being together (18+ married). If you’ve been around here for more than a few minutes, you know that I’m a big believer in marriage . . . God ordained, thriving marriages. If you were to ask me if I have a good marriage I’d respond that we have a “great marriage”. If you were to ask me if I have a perfect marriage I’d laugh . . . not by a long shot because the reality is we are two very imperfect, very stubborn, people. But perfect and great are not equivalent.
There’s another reality that isn’t as often addressed. We are not lucky. We are not lucky to have found one another or lucky that we just happened to have married our “soul mates” (I don’t buy into the idea of there being one perfect soul mate for everyone). We ARE very blessed to have been given one another, but our great marriage? It takes work and partnering with the Holy Spirit day in and day out to be the best spouse we can each be.
Jimmy Evans, the founder of XO Marriage, can frequently be heard saying, “You’re marriage has a 100% chance of success if you do it God’s way.” Did y’all catch that? Not 95%. Not 98%. Not even 99.99%. 100%. It’s one of my favorite truths.
But here’s the other part of that truth, it only works if you’re both willing to do it “God’s way”. If you’re both willing to put Him first and your spouse second only to Him. If you’re both willing to put in the work. Not that you’ll do everything perfectly. You won’t. Not that you’ll never fight. You will. But you keep coming back to God, putting Him in His proper place at the forefront of your lives, and seeking to love and serve, to honor and respect one another above everything except God. That is a 100% guarantee of success.
Maybe you’re on board, but your spouse? Not so much. Unless there is abuse and unfaithfulness (in which case you need to get to safety and get professional help), I encourage to do your part. Put in the prayer, make the effort, continue to love and honor and serve your spouse, and trust God to change your spouse’s heart.
And so coming up on 23 years of being together, this is what I’m pondering. I’m very thankful for my husband and my marriage, but I’m also incredibly aware that I have to continue to put in the work and the effort on a daily basis in order to not only maintain but also grow in my marriage. I’m also incredibly aware that not everyone has this, and that’s why I share. Not to say, “Look at us. We’re so awesome! We have it all together.” Because we don’t. But because I know that God is no respecter of persons, and what He has done for us, He’ll do for you. But only if you’re willing to submit yourself to His way of doing things. I encourage you to start by putting Jesus in the proper place in your life if you haven’t yet done that, and then ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you work toward have a great (or even greater . . . as the case may be) marriage.
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