This weekend I will be officiating my first wedding ceremony. My nephew and his fiancé will be entering into a covenant of marriage, and I am honored to be a part of this amazing celebration! This is not a “contract” that they are agreeing to, which can easily be broken, but a covenant with God. It’s a commitment that these two will “cleave to each other,” and what God joins together, no man should separate. (reference Matthew 19: 5-6)
In helping with their ceremony, I reflect on my own, just 23 years ago. It seems like yesterday…it seems like an eternity. We were full of dreams, desires and hopes, and nothing seemed impossible! We were young and not prepared for all that marriage would entail.
Within a few years, we experienced a lot of heartache, disappointment and pain. We had a lot of Wrong Expectations and didn’t understand how much hard work – or rather “heart work!” was required. Ten years ago, we called it “quits” and began the process of ending our marriage. It was devastating! I have never experienced anything more painful than that, nor do I ever want to!
I was once given a metaphor that explained what I was experiencing. The union of marriage is like having two separate pieces of paper completely glued together to become one. They are united together and can no longer be separated without being destroyed. Any attempt to separate them would leave them both damaged.
As painful as that was, even greater was the overwhelming JOY and freedom that came from facing that pain, taking responsibility for my own choices, forgiving, and receiving the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ! I experienced the unconditional love of God and got to see His power work in my heart and in my marriage! By the grace & mercy of God, Fred & I reconciled after five months! We have an amazing story—a miracle, really! We chose to turn to the Creator of Marriage and seek Him first and do the heart work. As a result, we saw the power of God resurrect our dead marriage! Praise God!
I often say, “God is in the ‘resurrection business’ and NOTHING is too difficult for Him! And He is in the ‘multiplication business!’ But for Him to do both, He needs your cooperation! 1000×0=0; but 1000×1=1000! You must do your part!”
This I know–nothing can be resurrected unless it first dies. We had to die to our self-centeredness and worldly expectation of marriage and each other. We had to kill wrong beliefs and replace with God’s opinion and Truth!
We had to do the heart work to fulfill our commitment of “for better or worse….” It might seem like you are going “through the fire,” but I can say confidently you don’t have to get consumed by it, AND you can even come out not smelling like smoke!! (read Daniel 3)
There is nothing more rewarding than fighting for your marriage! But you are not in it alone—you are in covenant with God! He is fighting for your marriage – He’s the Creator of it! (Genesis 2) Seek an intimate relationship with Him FIRST, then allow Him to help you with the heart work. We are living proof that there is HOPE for any situation—even the dead ones!! Glory to God!