Twenty years ago I was a 28 year-old wife with a six year marriage that was full of uncertainty and unresolved issues.
In a not-so-humble effort to find help, I went to a little church revival in Southern Ontario hoping to find the magic pill to fix our marriage. I walked out of service disappointed. I didn’t hear what my husband was doing wrong. I didn’t hear how I could fix him or inspire greatness in our relationship.
Nope. That preacher didn’t give me the quick fix I was looking for. That preacher preached Christ.
Ten days ago, my twenty year old daughter got married. Her dad, who is still my husband, preached about marriage. Guess what? He preached Christ.
My husband and I have learned a lot in 26 years of marriage. We made a lot of mistakes. We hurt each other. We forgave each other. And we remain.
Here’s how we did it and are still doing it. We followed Christ.
Jesus’ first recorded sermon is one we call the Sermon on the Mount. In this introduction to Christianity, Jesus lays down the gauntlet of faith. If we don’t get this stuff, we don’t get him. And we just can’t get marriage right without him.
Build your house on the rock.
Guard your fidelity.
Correct each other with humility.
Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or sister, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye,” when there’s a log in your eye? You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5 CEB
Don’t murder each other.
You have heard that our ancestors were told, “You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.” But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. Matthew 5:21-23
Delight in Forgiveness.
Stay married today.
Sometimes marriage feels more like bearing your cross than we want to admit. It is the single most sanctifying relationship on earth. With Jesus, marriage will purge us of our impurities, our selfishness and our pride. Without him, it will drive us deeper into our sinful nature, with little hope.
Whether we are 10 days or 26 years into it, following Jesus is the only way.
“Christianity does not direct us to focus on finding the right person; it calls us to become the right person.” – Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage