What happens after the honeymoon? Reality sets in. The husband and wife begin to let down their guard and show their true colors. The marriage vows were laid on a sure foundation of true love and commitment or on the sand of lust and deception.
How well do a man and woman know each other before saying “I do?” In a way the stages of marriage can be compared to this life and preparing for the next. As the Bride of Christ, the church is always going through difficult times, as we anticipate and contemplate the developing of this relationship and the final consummation.
For whatever reason you married ~ for love or lust ~ it can develop into a holy relationship. By this I mean, a relationship in which God, through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit, does a miraculous work in both hearts; bringing two people to enjoy a time together that was impossible at the beginning.
It takes commitment, from both, or at least one. This too is His work. We must give ourselves first to the Lord Jesus Christ, as part of His Bride. We experience a spiritual marriage in our relationship with Him; and a physical marriage in our relationship with a husband or wife. A wife’s submission to the husband is “as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5: 22-24, 33. The husband’s love to the wife, is as “Christ loves His church.” Ephesians 5:23, 25, 33. This is a supernatural work.
Twenty years is a miracle for most marriages today. We have heard of broken vows and divorce after thirty years of marriage. The duration of fifty years is one of brokenness of hearts and spirits, for things unforeseen, for hurts and adversity; much prayer and searching for wisdom through God’s word.
All of these bring with them the needed character of patience, longsuffering, and forgiveness, with a multitude of the Lord’s blessings. They are used of God to turn lust into true love, as we endure with the one to whom we are united and committed.
Jerry and I (as one) are a good example of this truth of perseverance. Had we depended on ourselves, or just on each other, we would not still be together. Forgetting ourselves, we had to look past our own feelings, to what God willed for us, and to the needs of the other.
There is no perfect marriage, except the one that our heavenly Father is preparing us for in heaven with Christ. What a glorious day and eternity that will be. In the meantime, He is revealing it to me, giving me a taste of it, in my own marriage.
(Jerry, in case I haven’t told you today ~ I love you. Thank you for putting up with me all these years, for enduring all my anger, impatience, discontent and frustrations; for your forgiveness, for providing for me, for loving me. )
Lord Jesus, I love you. Thank you for your patience and longsuffering, your physical suffering and sacrifice for me, your provisions for now and eternity; your loving me now and forever. Thank you heavenly Father for creating me to be Jerry’s, to see His needs above my own; to live for you and him. Spread abroad your love in our hearts, by your Spirit, which you have given us; that we may love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. Continue to fill me with your Spirit of joy, fulfilling your purpose for Jerry and me ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.