We all seem to go into marriage excited to start a new life with our spouse. We probably attend premarital counseling together and talk through all the issues that newlyweds may face. We walk down the aisle to wedded bliss, but we may not be aware of the spiritual battles we’re likely to face.
When I first got married, it was easy to keep my marriage safe. We were newlyweds and spent a lot of time together. We talked a lot, communicated about issues that came up, and genuinely worked to keep each other first.
Ever so slowly, though, we saw friends start to struggle in their marriages. We saw marriages where divorce was imminent, and we noticed problems creeping into our own marriage. As I took stock of what was happening in my life, I realized there were 3 reasons I wanted to protect my marriage.
3 Reasons to Fiercely Protect Your Marriage
1. We Are Called to Be United to Our Spouse
Genesis 2:18-25 is the account of the creation of Eve. It’s a passage with which we’re all very familiar, but in that passage Adam said that Eve was “bone of my bones . . . flesh of my flesh.” She was an individually created being, but she was created as a part of him.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, NIV)
A man leaves his parents’ home to be united with his wife. This is the model that we are given throughout the Bible. In fact, Jesus left his Father to come for our salvation so that we can be identified as the bride of Christ.
To be united with our spouse means that we’re going to have to say no to other things. Practically, this can mean adjusting our schedules and planning times together. Spiritually, this can mean praying together before we leave for work, or holding each other accountable to spiritual growth. We are called to be united with our spouse.
2. Temptation Will Come Knocking
We don’t think it will happen to us, but I’ve seen temptation take out some very strong marriages. We think we can withstand the temptation, and we pray that our spouse remains strong against it. I’m here to tell you that temptation nearly took out my marriage when it came knocking.
We’ve been working through some serious issues in our marriage for 3 1/2 years now. This is not for the faint of heart, and it isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. But the reality is that temptation’s knock is strong and alluring. I don’t think anyone really wants to give in to temptation, but choices are made and marriages are damaged.
Protect your marriage to the best of your ability. Spend time in God’s Word; seek Him in prayer. Find a way to discuss those hard issues with your spouse. Seek outside support and accountability to protect your marriage from temptation.
If temptation has found its way into your marriage, know that you are not alone.
3. We Need to Set an Example
The word divorce has become very common, hasn’t it? When you check out at the grocery store, it’s no surprise to see a magazine headline of some couple going through a divorce. School kids talk about their parents’ divorce just as lightheartedly as they talk about what they’re doing after school. We struggle to keep the front door shut against temptation, but we leave the back door open in case we need a way out of the marriage.
I worry about my kids’ generation and whether they will be able to commit to a lifelong marriage. As a society, we’ve become obsessed with the quick fix, instant gratification, lookin’ out for number one.
But who is teaching our kids any long-term skills? Where are they learning how to work through a struggle with a friend and still be friends? Where are they going to learn to fight for their marriage if the standard we set forth is that it’s okay to leave a marriage when things don’t go your way?
We hold the power to change the standard that our kids know. We can start by taking divorce off the table as a casual way out of marriage, instead teaching them how to stick it out when a friendship or relationship gets tough. We can teach them how to be a blessing in a friendship and someday in a marriage. They are going to need that example.
These are just 3 reasons to fiercely protect your marriage. What other reasons do you have for protecting your marriage? How do you intentionally protect your marriage? I’d love to hear your answers and ideas as this is so important!