Marriage God’s Way.
Three words that makes the very depths of my soul smile. But it wasn’t always this way. These same three words that bless me to my innermost being, used to provoke unimaginable fear and anger.
To be honest with you, I never planned to get married. Ever. I had a heart of stone concerning what marriage was after watching a violent, drug infested, abusive, adulterous, and prison-term marriage modeled within the walls of my home.
To top it off, I had a running “list” of what a husband had to be and believe me, no man that will ever be born into the world (outside of Jesus Himself) would have ever fit all of my qualifications. And that was the point. I didn’t want them to. Not ever.
Then enters Jesus. He was always there, I was always called to be His bride, but did not respond until September 13, 1998. It was this day that I met my first-love, Jesus, and it was this day that opened me up to receive the man whom God created just for me. It was this day that began to show me what what it means to enter into marriage God’s way.
Throughout the next several months I would have an intimacy with Jesus that I never could have dreamed of. To some this may sound crazy, but to those who have known Him closely, you understand what I mean.
It is only through God’s love that I could be healed of the pain caused from my vicious childhood.
It is only through God’s love that my heart could become open again and see there is beauty in all the mess.
It was only through God’s love that I was able to begin to understand that deep within my heart lived the desire to be a bride – to one man – and have a family.
It was only through God’s love could I understand what the word marriage really means and the value it holds when done God’s way.
All of this is summed up in nicely in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
I remember the day very clearly that God spoke to my heart concerning my future husband. It was 1999, and I was still a new believer enjoying my “honeymoon” with Jesus. During this time I was finishing up my undergrad, and lived alone, thus able to spend a lot of time reading my Bible and in prayer.
One evening while reading in Ephesians, I heard the Lord speak clearly to my heart, “Your husband is here.” What? Remember, Jesus, I don’t want to get married. At least I didn’t think so. I never pictured myself getting married, but somehow this prodding at my heart was giving me a desire to dream about being a wife. Something very new to me at this point in my life.
But again, God was teaching me what marriage was intended to be, and it was nothing like I had witnessed in my home. At all. It was actually quite beautiful.
It was shortly after God began to work on my heart about the possibility of being a wife one day that my future husband, Michael, spoke to our pastor that he knew I was to be his wife. He went and met with our pastor for months without me even having a clue. I just knew Michael as one of the nice guys from the college Bible study group.
All the while God was preparing me for the moment that I would realize that I actually did want to be married. And then the moment came, just two short weeks after God told me my husband was here, Michael asked for my hand in marriage. It was not a “fancy” proposal, nothing out of the ordinary, but it was birthed out of obedience and love for Christ and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It was absolutely perfect for me.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from God about marriage is: Although the fruit of God’s love yields the same results, the way the results are achieved between married couples are entirely different.
Simply put: Do not look at someone else’s marriage and desire that – rather let God show you the marriage He has designed for you. You will not find joy in marriage any other way.
If you are walking this same journey with your spouse, then I know you understand this joy. If you desire to walk this journey but your time has not yet come, I encourage you to continue to be patient and wait on the Lord – His timing is ALWAYS perfect.
If you have had a bad experience with marriage, I am praying for your heart to be made whole again – knit solely to Jesus – so he can restore what was stolen from you. God can, and He will give you the desires of your heart if you obey and allow Him to orchestrate His plan in your life – no matter the cost.
In June of this year (2020) we celebrated 20 years of marriage. No, it hasn’t all been perfect, but it has been a phenomenal journey with a man that I adore with all my being and who loves me through and through. It has been a journey that we continue to fight hard for every day.
Everything worth keeping costs you something and in this case the benefit far outweighs the cost. I am so happy that God loves you and I enough to give us His best if we allow Him to show us what that is. Be blessed dear friend and allow God to show you marriage, His way. I assure you it is worth waiting for!