In the past year I have witnessed many marriages come to a breaking point. Either the couple was about to divorce and decided to follow God's protocol and stay together or they went their separate ways and divided their assets. Of course, if they stayed together they are still working on their issues. Every marriage goes through trials and battles in the course of its life. As believers we must value God's Word enough and carry out our commitment to our mate and Father.
1 Corinthians 7:3, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband." A duty is a moral commitment to someone or something. As David's wife, I cannot passively fulfill my duty to him. My duty is something I must do actively. I actively love him, mother his children, take care of him, etc. When what makes a commitment to another there is some inhrerent sacrifice to be made, whether it is in time, money or self-indulgences. I am happy to make that sacrifice to my husband. If one needs incentive, the love given in return is worth more than any and all sacrifice made on my part.
Marriage cannot be looked upon as easy-come, easy-go. Every married couple stands before God whether in a courthouse or in front of family and friends vowing to love one another no matter what circumstances fall before them. I find it unfathomable that couples today think of marriage as something you take out with the garbage, as if disposing the marriage frees the person from their vows. On the contrary, their slate is tarnished, stained with sin and their previous marriage is always lurking in the darkest recesses of their memories.
I remember the first few years of our marriage as being difficult, yet I also remember the many blessings that came out of our battle. If David and I hadn't stood together through those harried years we wouldn't be where we are now. I know I can turn to David with my heart on my sleeve and find him their supporting me. We have united our front towards our children more strongly over the years. The greatest thing is the love we have for one another. He is my best friend and greatest love besides Jesus Christ.
That is not to say that we always like one another every moment of every day. I remind myself often that I was created to be his helper and that is an honorable position in God's eyes. Genesis 2:18 says, "The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” I am priveledged to be David's helper through this life. I try to support him to become the man that God created him to be. No, I don't find it to be a piece of cake. I don't always agree with him. However, over the years I have found great blessings in supporting him.
God never said love was always easy to give. If it were easy God would never have had to issue a command. We are commanded though to love. John 13:34 states,“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." If we are commanded to love than we must take action to love. It does not have to be based on feelings. If your marriage is encountering troubles the first thing to do is pray. Praying helps not only to commune with our Father, but also allows you to verbalize your feelings about the situation. Often when we verbalize we can realize how selfish we tend to be. Also as we pray, the Spirit can convict us of our wrong-doings and soften our hearts towards are partner.
Actively love your man no matter what. Do the things that please him and more than likely you'll feel loved as well. When our men don't feel respected they don't feel loved. For me that was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn and remind myself still as I tend to like to voice my opinion. Learning to keep my mouth shut to this day can prove to be a challenge.
One of the greatest things I have learned is to remember that in this life the only love and acceptance I need is from God. God's love covers it all. His love is deep enough to heal those hurts and patch the wounds. His love can purify your heart and produce fruit in abundance. Ephesians 3:17-19 is such a joy to ponder. "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." My happiness cannot be dependent on my husband's affections or affirmations, only on my relationship with my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Every relationship, including our marriages, go through valleys of ease and mountains of tensions, deserts of loneliness and jungles of obstacles. Relish the moments of happiness and love, treasure memories and laughter and be thankful for strength and hope.