I love being married. I love how God continually shows His mercy and grace, and teaches me how to be merciful and gracious, through my marriage to my wife Renée.
When someone asks me about my marriage or what it takes to have a good marriage, my first thought is: How is your relationship with God? If you are not seeking God first, your marriage will never be as good as it could be.
I grew up in a very traditional Christian home, and even though my parents endured many difficulties, they stayed together because they trusted God and looked to Him for strength, instead of relying on their feelings and emotions. I learned early in life how important it is to seek God first in all thing — especially your marriage. I even started praying for my future wife in my early teen years.
I met my wife in college when I was still fairly young, but I knew she was the one I had been praying for. It was only because of my relationship with God that I could have that confidence. For her, I know it was also a process of seeking the Lord that gave her confidence that I was the man she had been praying for.
We’ve been married for 22 years now, and I’m still convinced that it takes two people who both humble themselves before God and seek Him first to make a good marriage. Some may think that people get lucky and meet that “perfect” person that they can get along with for the rest of their lives, but I know that is not the case. People change, life is tough, and the person you married isn’t going to be the same 10 years or 40 years later. But if you put your complete faith in Christ, He will make continue to make everything new again — including your marriage.
My wife is and is not the same person I married. And I know I am and am not the same man she fell in love with. However, we both love and continue to pursue God daily, and we are better people for each other because of that. Of course it’s not easy. You don’t always want or expect your spouse to change, but if you have confidence in God to be present in your marriage, you can know that in His timing, the changes will be for His will as well as our own good.
So I ask, is it more important for your spouse to be pleasing to you or pleasing to God? I see every day by her actions that my wife is pleasing to God, and I am blessed because of it and it only makes me love her more. Pursue the Lord and pray for your spouse, that you can grow together in Christ, and He will make your marriage stronger because you seek Him first.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” — Proverbs 31:30