Tomorrow (June 21st) marks 33 years of marriage. We married as teenagers and some of our college friends predicted that we would never make it this far. Early in our marriage we made mistakes, some that had the potential to take us out completely. This is our story, a survival story.
We weathered those storms. We found the strength to move forward. We took advice from a wise Christian counselor. We prayed and talked and gave our marriage over to God, because only He could heal it. Broken marriages can be restored and marriages can become great, but you have to put in the work.
It is so important to understand that marriages are not always happy but commitment is crucial. God is the foundation that holds things together in our marriage. You will go through challenging situations together – every couple has them – but you can pull through on the other side if you don’t give up. Sometimes you have to look past those petty annoyances and offer each other grace. God has put up with far more from you and even suffered for all of our sins against Him.If your marriage is in a difficult spot, pray that you will love each other as Christ has loved you.
We could have called it quits when difficult times hit our marriage, like so many couples do today. But marriage is a covenant made before God and because of that it is something you don’t walk away from easily. Forgive and get over it. Granted, it will take time, but don’t stay stuck in the wrongs done against you if you want to make it right. Don’t stay mad or hold on to anger. Recognize that in life you have to accept the good along with the bad. Marriage is work, oftentimes hard work, but it’s so worth it when you are on the same team and working together. For me, love is not always a feeling but a decision. When you know God has brought you together, you continue on with Him and you rely on Him to help you love someone, even when you don’t like what they do or say.
The ingredient for my marriage’s longevity is that we pray with each other every night and we are intentional to forgive quickly. Even when we are apart from one another, we will call and have bible study over the phone and prayer time. You can’t bow daily before God together for 33 years and not be changed. Our marriage is not perfect because two imperfect beings are together. However, with God covering us each day, we are confident in knowing that if God joined us together, then there are many more anniversaries to celebrate. My charge for you is this: if you are married, or single and considering marriage, just allow God to be supreme over your relationship. God has given much and forgiven much, so offer that same grace when you’re in a covenant relationship.