Girlfriends in God - Feb. 6, 2008


February 6, 2008

Making Marriage Work

Mary Southerland



Today’s Truth

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesians 5:31 (NIV)


Friend to Friend

I once read that all weddings are happy. It’s the living together afterwards that causes all the trouble. I often feel as if my marriage is this tiny out post sitting in the middle of enemy territory being attacked from all sides. Other times it seems as if I am married to the enemy! Sometimes I am the enemy!


This world is not the friend of marriage but God is! In fact, marriage was His idea! I know that you want a great marriage but may feel as if your relationship has endured too much pain, that there is no hope. No matter where you are or where you have been in your marriage, the rest of your marriage can be the best part of your marriage.


My husband, Dan, and I have been married for 31 years and I can honestly say that our marriage is stronger and better today than it has ever been; but not without the supernatural work of God and certainly not without many tears, great pain and plain old hard work. Dan and I have learned many truths about marriage but choosing commitment over comfort is at the top of the list!


Truth: When the going gets tough, the tough stay right where they are!


A successful marriage requires commitment. The Spanish explorer, Cortes, insisted on total commitment from his men. They landed in Mexico planning to invade the land of the Aztecs. Sensing the fear of his crew Cortes gathered them all on shore and set fire to their ships. Turning to his men, Cortes explained, “Now there can be no turning back!” Marriage demands this level of commitment.


We live in a world of “throw-away” marriages. If it doesn’t work, we can simply throw the relationship away and find another! The result is pain and destruction. Commitment is not based upon feelings; feelings cannot build a solid marriage. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that love is the basis for marriage. It does say however, that marriage is the basis for love. To build a solid marriage, we must make several commitments.


The first commitment is to God. Only He has the power to meet our deepest needs. Many marriages are in trouble because husbands and wives are expecting each other to meet needs that only Jesus Christ can meet!


The second commitment is to our husband. We must commit to being faithful physically, emotionally and mentally. This kind of faithfulness is illustrated through right priorities which, in turn, encourage a servant attitude. My husband is my number one ministry and my greatest opportunity for service.


Ladies, this commitment also includes being submissive to your husband. Submission is a Godly heart attitude of reverence and respect; not the warped concept touted by the world. Are wives supposed to be doormats? Absolutely not! We are equal partners in the marriage relationship, sharing our hearts, using our talents and abilities while trusting God to work through our husband. Submission is the result of total faith in God. The level of submission to our husband illustrates our level of submission to God. Will husbands make mistakes? Of course! But can God work through them? Yes! Submission then becomes a precious umbrella of protection and safety.


If you are hanging on in midst of a tough marriage let me encourage you that God is well aware of where you are! Someone once asked Napoleon to explain his bitter defeat at Waterloo. He responded, “The British didn’t win because they were better trained, larger or more equipped. They won because they fought five minutes longer!”


I sometimes wonder what battles we have lost because we gave up just a little too soon! Hold on! Hold on to your commitment to God and to your marriage! Because in marriages that really work, when the going gets tough, the tough stay right where they are!


Let’s pray

Dear Father, I need Your help. I cannot be the wife I want to be. There are times when I want to run away from the hard work of this relationship. But today, I choose to stay. I renew my commitment to You and to my husband. I trust You to do what I can’t. Amen.


Now it’s Your Turn

Today, begin to pray that God will allow you to see your husband though His eyes.

Look for and make a list of the qualities that first attracted you to your husband. Thank God for every one of those qualities and then thank your husband as well.


Evaluate your love for your husband by asking the following questions:


  • What is my level of commitment to God?
  • What is my level of commitment to my husband and our marriage?
  • Have I been expecting my husband to meet needs that only God can meet?
  • Do I expect my husband to make me happy?
  • What is one way I can serve my husband today?


More from the Girls

February can be a tough month for many people, but especially for those who feel as if they are trapped in a hopeless marriage. I know that marriage is the most wonderful, horrible thing on earth! But do not give up! Do not give in! Need help? I have the resource you need in my new CD, G-Harmony: Meeting Your Mate’s Needs. My husband, Dan, joins me in a powerful teaching that just might save your marriage!



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Originally published Wednesday, 06 February 2008.