Kevin and I will have been married 39 years in April. It seems hard to believe. Often, he will tease and say it’s been the best 34 years of his life. I know
exactly what he is saying when he subtracts five years because the first five years of our marriage were rocky, to say the least.
We married in our late twenties. I was an immature believer and Kevin was an unbeliever. We thought we could make it work. We couldn’t! We fought and separated many times that first year of marriage. We had no idea how to resolve conflict in a mature, let alone Godly way.
Even though I had been a Christian since I was 17 years old, I knew very little of God’s Word and how to live it out in my marriage. I worked hard at being a “good wife” but when conflict arose I responded according to my emotions and flesh, rather than God’s Word. I wanted my way because I thought my way was right and he wanted his way. (Isn’t that the problem in most relationship conflicts?)
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
You desire and do not have, so you murder.
You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
James 4:1-2 ESV
I remember a specific day when I had left the house after a big fight and was sitting in the car at the library with my bible…crying, reading, praying. My eyes landed on James 3:14 and I read: “But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” (I was reading a KJV bible in those days). I said to the Lord, “Yes, Lord, that is Kevin! He has strife in his heart!” And IMMEDIATELY the Holy Spirit opened my understanding and convicted me that the verse was not for Kevin but for ME!
I read on…"But, the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Well, I could see through this verse that I was not being peaceable, gentle, open to reason and I definitely was not making peace the way God’s Word said to. In that moment of time, God’s Word came alive to me in a personal way. God was speaking to MY situation- through His Word.
In the coming days and years the Lord continued to counsel me through His Word. It was hard in the beginning to know how to find the scriptures I needed for different situations but the Lord placed godly older women in my life that helped me. They were my “Titus 2” older women. They knew God’s Word. They lived as godly women in their homes. Their counsel lined up with what the scriptures taught. They taught “good things” as it says in Titus 2.
Today we have a good, solid marriage but there are still opportunities to take up offense and not walk in love. We are home with each other 24/7 and even though we have both been walking with Christ for many years, we are tempted--at times--
to give into our flesh. I find that as we grow older there are different challenges we didn’t face in our younger years.
In fact, one morning this past week, we were both feeling unwell and were a bit impatient with each other. We had been practicing the church’s memory verse, Psalm 19:14. The Lord brought this memory verse to mind and I became convicted that the words of my mouth were not bringing glory to God. As I asked for Kevin’s forgiveness, he in turn asked for mine.
That is the power of God’s Word to convict us of sin, renew our minds and then give us the power to obey. The results? A harvest of peace and righteousness in our relationships!
No human counselor (unless they are teaching God’s Word), no psychology book on marriage, no TV talk show host, no womanly determination can change a marriage (or any relationship) to bring glory to God---only God’s Word can! God’s Word is powerful and able to change even a hopeless marriage into a testimony of His grace.
Thank you for these wonderful verses and the wisdom God has given through the scripture. It is a blessing to my life.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed reading this. Jim and I were actually divorced during the years of our marriage but the Lord brought us back together and we remarried . I am so glad he did! We serve a merciful God.ReplyDelete
great testimony to the Lord. I love the blog you used to post about how you made it on very little money.ReplyDelete
Amen! This is very timely for me as I just did a devotional meditation today on the words of Jesus on the cross when He said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do". It spoke to me regarding my relationship with my DH.ReplyDelete
Thank you for popping back up to reinforce that lesson.
And Happy Anniversary to you both!
Oops - that was me, Jo, who started the comment with "Amen!"ReplyDelete
I think I’ve read almost every post in your blog and though I’ve never commented, I am so grateful for them and for you. Thank you for being real and honest with your experiences, practical in your advice, and above all always pointing is to the Father.ReplyDelete