I really struggled putting this post together.
Talking about marriage can be so nerve-wracking because, indirectly, your own marriage is put on a pedestal-the gold standard from which all your wisdom about marriage comes from.
Here’s the disclaimer: Everything I share and know about marriage is partly from experience but largely from God. He is the one who teaches me what to do and what is right, and I am still on my journey to practicing perfectly.
So Let’s Begin.
The sauces to a sustained marriage:
I thought of all the attributes and qualities that help build a successful marriage- understanding, patience, forgiveness, humility, generosity, selflessness but it all came down to PRAYER and a relationship with God. I’ve heard people say in marriage you can’t pray every problem away and to that, I say:
- Prayer brings answers, strategy, and solutions
- Prayer brings rebuke and character transformation
- Prayer brings wisdom and revelation
- Prayer brings the presence and intervention of God
Christian ladies about to get married and already married- BUILD YOUR PRAYER LIFE.
I don’t want to sound preachy but wouldn’t you want to have uninhibited access to the source of all truth, wisdom, understanding, strategy and love? Wouldn’t you want to have access to the source of all those “sauce’ qualities I mentioned above?
Praying about everything in my marriage has made me realise that there are many things that influence the quality of a marriage that are not explicit, tangible or meet the naked eye but prayer uncovers it ALL. And I’m not just talking about the demon-slaying, evil-binding kind of prayers-although very necessary too. I’m talking about the kind of prayer and Word conversations you have with God where your humanity is unraveled before Him, where you sit with Him not looking to get Him to justify your actions but where you are open and willing in vulnerability to accept His counsel. The kind of prayer that feels like therapy, where God peels back the layers of your pride and confusing emotions and gets to depth of your issues. And believe it or not, oftentimes, those issues have very little to do with your spouse or partner.
Two weeks before I got married, I was in a funk. I was depressed and crying at the drop of a hat. The wedding jitters? Cold feet? I knew in my heart it was deeper than that. I knew I loved my husband-to-be deeply so why wasn’t I happy. It made no sense. So just like I would handle any other issue in my life, I prayed. I spent some time alone on a personal day retreat and sought the face of the Lord on what REALLY was the cause of this. In prayer, God helped me see me.
In my silence before Him, He began to speak to me about what my emotions truly meant and where they were coming from. It was a deep sadness that I was no longer going to be as present with my family; the family I had always known and loved. Especially, having lived with my mother and father all my life. On the surface, I was happy about the fact that I was now responsible for myself. But deep down I felt like I was abandoning my mother though we were always bickering…haha.
This was such a powerful experience for me because it taught me the importance of getting to the depth and the root of a matter to bring true healing. Many couples fear going too deep to understand the source of their issues. They lack the patience to allow God to reveal the source of their problems. They fear vulnerability and as such they circle the same mountains consistently until one party justifiably gets tired and falls out of the marriage.
When you begin to understand that God KNOWS you better than you know yourself and knows your spouse better than he/she knows themselves (Jeremiah 17:9-10), you will learn to trust Him more- not just for insights on quarrels but on how to make your marriage sweeter and better.
Why else is prayer paramount? Well, don’t get me started on the spiritual side of things. This one goes specifically to my women. The devil has been anti-marriage from the beginning of time. When He wanted to break up a marriage, guess who he went through? Woman. This is not to say you are the single point of failure, however, it demonstrates the power a woman has, to make or break a family. It shows that before the devil could influence Adam he had to go through Eve. She was the gatekeeper of their marriage and she botched her assignment.
Likewise, we women have been called as gatekeepers of our families. Spiritually, once your marriage has the potential to fulfill God’s purpose of raising Godly seed (Malachi 2:15), trust that the devil is going to try to destroy it. But not on our watch! Pray and fast over your marriage, commit your husband into the Lord’s hands, pray for him and pray over your children. Before the devil can attack your home, he’ll have to go through you. So make sure he doesn’t meet you slacking or sleeping. Sauce up your home with prayer!
Whew, that was a lot and notice I never even had to speak about how to deal with or control your spouse? Well yes, because, besides the fact that the Holy Spirit WILL lead you into all truth on how to relate to your spouse, most mature married people will tell you that marriage has more to do with your individual character and the pruning of your idiosyncrasies, so you can truly become one in God and in love and less to do with your spouses behaviour unless in extreme cases.
There are many intricacies in marriage, but I will just end with this simple strategy-where it all starts and ends: For every Christian, PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL to the success of your marriage. And don’t forget that prayer is a two-way street so listen to and practice whatever the Lord says back to you.