If we think about it there are really few things that are a surprise in life or marriage. While no one ever signs up for trouble to come, it really should not surprise us when it does. As Job 14:1 reminds us, “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.” Which really sums it up. We are all allotted a certain and even a guarantee of some tough days in our life. Our faith gives us the strength to not just survive but to thrive when our tough stuff comes.
Within the years of a marriage there are a few things that we can count on (at least a few of these).
- Sickness which will cause you to care for each other
- Loss of a loved one
- Financial challenge
- Disagree on a major purchase or decision – at least once
- Loss of a job or career change
- Child will go through adolescence and your marriage will feel every minute of it.
- You will disappoint each other – more than 3 times.
This list can go on for quite some time, but the point is life happens to Christians and non-Christians alike. So if there are things we can count on coming into our marriage how then can we prepare today for the inevitable somedays?
- Enjoy every moment that God gives your marriage. I have been both so deeply blessed and deeply impacted to sit by bedsides and hold the hand of a spouse watching their husband or wife as they are on their way to heaven. Enjoy every moment that God gives your marriage.
- Study the Word together. I have read who knows how many marriage books and attended just many marriage conferences (I have even written a few books and delivered a few conferences). Yet, IMO the absolute number one, most effective tool for a healthy marriage is Bible Study. In my coaching of couples if I can get them to attend a Bible Study the chances of their marriage growing go through the roof. Find a good class at your local church – it does not have to be a marriage class, just study the Word and watch the Word of God transform your marriage.
- Prayer – with a twist. Ask your spouse what Personal Prayer Requests they have. Then, without judgement or need to mention “I prayed for you today” – Pray for them, everyday.
- Get Away. Find time. Make time. Get away with each other as often as possible. A nice couples vacation does not chase away any realities but it does give the necessary refueling to deal with what is in your marriage and life. So get away, forget about “it” for a week, admire God’s supernatural power in nature on a beach, an island, a stream, a mountain or even a bustling city and watch Him refuel your marriage
- Plan. As we enjoy what God is doing and providing for us today it would be wise to prepare for the inevitable. Check out one of my favorite passages in Proverbs 6 – Go to the ant O sluggard and consider her ways…
- Stay focussed on Christ. A Christ centered marriage has to stay centered on Christ. For quite some time I have believed that Genesis 2:24 is the most significant marriage specific verse in the Bible. I summarize it this way, Leave and be Joined. Jesus rounds out our understanding in Matthew 19:5-6 by fist quoting Genesis 2:24 then adding that who God joins together can not be separated. If we leave external influences, God will join us, and if God joins us – we can not be separated.
Life is going to happen, that you can count on. And now, before the winds blow and seas churn, prepare for the inevitable.